Shifty, a YA novel by Lynn E. Hazen

SHIFTY was chosen for VOYA'S Top Shelf Fiction, as a CCBC Choice, and a Smithsonian Notable!

What's the Book About?

SHIFTY is a contemporary young adult novel set in San Francisco. Fifteen-year-old Shifty drives illegally, swipes court documents and lies to police and social workers--all in an effort to stay out of trouble. Shifty parks in a handicapped zone and fast-talks his way out of a ticket by convincing the cop that an old homeless woman is his grandmother. He drives off without a ticket, but with a new pretend grandma in the back of his van. Now his younger foster sister has very opposing views of what to do with their new fake grandma. Both funny and tender, Shifty's misadventures touch on themes of resiliency, home, and lost and found family. And it all begins with a $275 burrito!

Make your own totally cool SHIFTY Card (see the how-to video and the free pdf pattern) at the Students & Teachers link. You can download a great discussion guide there, too.

Praise for SHIFTY:

"Witty, fast, makes you think."
-- Sam, 16.

"Nicknamed Shifty, Soli has had to use his survival skills for so long that he has a hard time leaving the streets behind when he lands in his new foster family. When he is confronted with the realization that his new foster mother actually trusts him, he has to decide whether to take advantage of her ... Soli's good intentions are thwarted by both his own poor judgment and external trials. This combination of personal flaws and situational difficulties create a realistic story that resonates. Smart writing and an engaging narrative keep the story fresh, while an interesting plot will keep readers turning the pages.
(Fiction. 12 & up)"
--KIRKUS REVIEWS ( August 15, 2008)

"Soli, aka 'Shifty,' survives by his wits. His 15-year-old narrator's voice will carry readers through this chronicle of four days in the lives of his San Francisco foster family ... Hazen (Mermaid Mary Margaret) creates fully formed characters here, and through Soli's narration, the audience witnesses firsthand his resourcefulness and rationalizations ... when a cop starts to issue a ticket, he conveniently finds an elderly lady in the shop whom he calls 'Mama' and who happily accepts a lift. Soli is out of a jam. Or is he? Hazen has a gift for turning humor into poignant situations devoid of sentiment ... the realistic relationships between the four foster family members, their ability to believe in each other in a world where each of them has already had more than their share of bad breaks and Soli's survivor-humor make these characters memorable."
-- SHELF AWARENESS (Jennifer M. Brown)

"In deceptively straightforward prose, author Lynn Hazen brings Shifty's San Francisco world to life on the page. Original, telling details, a compassionate eye, and Hazen's intuitive understanding of how love and trust can save us make SHIFTY a book to treasure."
--Alison McGhee, Author of several novels and picture books, including #1 New York Times bestseller SOMEDAY

"... Written with heart and compassion, SHIFTY is a fun and fast-paced read. Readers will be rooting for Soli from page one, indignant at the judgmental people he is forced to put up with and sympathetic to the hardships that he is forced to endure. Lynn E. Hazen reveals a world that most readers could never have imagined, and Soli is an optimistic and courageous character that readers will identify with..."
--TEENS READ TOO (Reviewed by: Amber Gibson)
Rating: 5 Stars

"...the characters have warmth, and readers will feel empathy for this makeshift family."
--SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (Reviewed by Nichole King)

Contact Lynn E. Hazen, author of SHIFTY:

Lynn is available for Middle School & High School Author Visits and Writing Workshops.
For more info, please contact:

To order a signed copy of SHIFTY (or Lynn's other signed books), please call Cover to Cover Booksellers (415) 282-8080
Click here to buy SHIFTY on Amazon.

Check out the cool activities--Make your own SHIFTY Card ( free pdf & how-to video), download a great Discussion Guide,
and a Readers Theater script for SHIFTY--All at the Students & Teachers link below.