The In-Between

The In-Between cover
The In-Between by Katie Van Heidrich

by Katie Van Heidrich
Aladdin, 2023
295 pages

Age 11 and older

In this memoir in verse, the author recalls the period in her childhood when she, her two younger siblings, and their mother were evicted from their apartment. Katie’s mom (Black) is out of a job and depressed. Her dad (white) lives in a house in the suburbs with his new Thai wife, Ning. With both food and privacy in too-short supply at the extended-stay motel where they’ve landed, Katie is mad at her mom for being unable to provide and unwilling to accept help from their father; she’s mad at her father for not helping them more when he has the means. Eventually, Katie gains insight into past traumas and very real fears that have impacted both her parents, as well as Ning. But for Katie and her siblings, the fact remains that their lives have been upended, and it isn’t until they are out of the hotel and back in a new apartment that things begin to turn around. Katie’s story is hard, and eventually hopeful, and will resonate both factually and emotionally with readers for a range of reasons, from the uncertainty and fears that go with being homeless to the messiness and complexity of families to the way adult problems and struggles impact children’s lives. The author’s note shines a light on Van Heidrich’s later childhood and adulthood, including positive relationships with both parents, and her career as an educator. ©2023 Cooperative Children’s Book Center