Junior and his family live in a junkyard, where his father creates pieces of art from the junk surrounding them. When Junior’s father falls ill and dies, Junior and his mother are left with few resources, other than what his mother brings in from her job as a waitress. The junkyard is threatened by encroaching development, and just when Junior thinks all is lost, he finds that a junk sculpture of a man, gifted to him by his father, begins to speak to him. The junkman provides advice in the form of enigmas. Are they clues? Or is it nonsense? Junior and his best friend, Isaac, embark on a journey to find out. Can a man made of junk parts teach Junior about art and friendship and overcoming the loss of a loved one? Only if Junior believes it can.
Praise for Junior Miles and the Junkman
“A tender, transformative novel packed with endearing characters and conversations, partially set in a junkyard, which makes it even more appealing. For all who sometimes feel they don’t fit in, for anyone who’s ever been struck down by scamming or bullying, and for anyone who ever suffers profound pangs of loss—which would be, probably, everybody. You will never forget this terrific story.”
— Naomi Shihab Nye, Young People’s Poet Laureate of the United States 2019 - 2021 and author of The Turtle of Oman and The Turtle of Michigan
“Kevin Carey has given us an admirable young hero who mourns, makes mistakes, and persists in search of something he can’t quite name. His adventure unfolds in the rough-and-tumble world of pre-adolescence, where bullying and bravery clash amid glimpses of a future where bright things are possible. Junior Miles is a boy to believe in.”
— Jabari Asim, author of A Child’s Introduction To African American History and Preaching to the Chickens
“Featuring heart and humor, Kevin Carey has crafted a story of friendship, love, and the lengths we go to in keeping our memories close. Junior Miles and the Junkman is a treasure!”
— Erin Dionne, author of Bad Choices Make Good Stories: Conversations About Writing and Secrets of a Fangirl