Crossing the Tracks

Crossing the Tracks

For Ages: 12 and up
  • 5
At fifteen, Iris is a hobo of sorts—no home, no family, no plan. Her mother died when she was six, and her selfish father hires her out as a companion to a country doctor’s elderly mother. Iris, stuck in the middle of 1920s rural Missouri, discovers that "hobo" is short for "homeward bound," and cultivates an eccentric cast of folks into family, creating the home she never had. But when she learns that a neighboring tenant farmer may have had more than his hands on his pregnant daughter, Iris must intervene to save the girl and her unborn baby.

The many facets of what makes a family are illuminated with warmth and charm in this beautifully crafted tale.
  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416997054 | 
  • July 2010 | 
  • Grades 7 and up | 
  • Lexile 680
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Stuck in 1920’s rural Missouri as a housekeeper, Iris cultivates an eccentric cast of folks into the family she never had and opens herself to love.

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About the Author

Barbara Stuber
Photograph by Tessa Elwood

Barbara Stuber

Barbara Stuber is the author of the novels Girl in Reverse and Crossing the Tracks, which was a finalist for the American Library Association William C. Morris Debut Award, a YALSA Best Fiction for YA and a Kirkus Best Book for Teens. When not writing, she is a docent at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Visit Barbara online at