Can't Get There From Here

by Todd Strasser


The story takes place in the streets of New York City. New York played a big part in how the kids lived. They spent cold nights on the street and hiding in the alley ways. The setting played a huge part in the live's of the characters. The street was their home. “If you lived on the street long enough you could sense things in the night before you saw them” (Strasser 23). This quote shows how living on the street changes you.


  • Maybe is the main character. She has major trust issues with other adults and would rather live on the streets that to get help from them. She changes throughout the story because in the beginning she didn't see much hope for the future, but by the end she was looking forward to life off the streets. I would want Cara Delevingne to play Maybe because she has some of the same characteristics. She was the girl from Paper Towns.
  • OG is the oldest of the group. His homelessness takes a huge toll on his health. He adopts a dog to keep him company. The dogs dies of malnutrition. By the end of the book OG is extremely sick and is taken to the hospital. OG stays the same throughout the story. In the story he was sick early on and gave up on ever having a life off the streets. For OG I would want Ian Somerhalder because he is kind of scruffy looking and same age range. He played in Vampire Diaries.
  • Rainbow is a runaway and a junkie. She was sold by her mom so that she could get drug money. She ran away from many treatment facilities but committed suicide by drowning herself. Peyton List would be a good actress to play rainbow because she is pretty and blonde. She is the girl from Jessie.
  • Tears- the youngest of the group and is kinda scared and is getting used to life on the streets.
  • 2moro- HIV positive with a long history of molestation and abuse, is a chronic runaway. She prostitutes herself to get by. Kristen Stewart would be a good actress for this role because of her ability to be serious and dark.
  • Anthony- he is a local librarian who tries to help Tears and Maybe get off the streets. He's the first person that Maybe has trusted. George Clooney would be a good fit for this role because of the other roles he has played before.


Major internal and external conflicts: The biggest external conflict would be dealing with daily life on the streets. From the frigid New York weather, violence, getting food, and having a place to sleep. One of the internal conflicts is a lot of street kids don't trust anyone. Any time someone offered to help they would contradict everything they were offering. This was probably a defense mechanism. In the story a woman asked one of the kids why they don't get off the streets and let people help them and her response was " maybe I don't want to, maybe i would rather live on the street than have some stupid nine to five job" (Strasser 67).

Point of View

The story is told in Maybe's perspective, so it is first person. This gave us a look on what life on the streets was like from a very personal view.


  • “Everybody wanted something”(Strasser 78). This quote shows the harsh truth about everyone.
  • “Can’t get there from here.” (Strasser 114). This quote shows the attitude some had about street life.
  • "We were sort of like a family,or maybe a tribe... we watched out for each other,cared for each other" (Strasser 45). This shows that they had some normality while still on the street. They tried to find "their people" to stick around with.


The message in the story is you can only make the situation better if you are willing to try. This is evident in the story because we saw Maggot, Rainbow, and OG not do anything to get off the street. Maybe and Tears eventually saw the light at the end of the tunnel and decided to work to reach it. The author developed this theme through the characters personalities and what they wanted to achieve. This book made me think of the movie Paper Towns because how the main character ran away from her problems even though there were people who loved her. Songs that the story reminds me of are "The Kid's Aren't Alright" by Fall Out Boy because it is about overcoming hardships when you are young.


I would recommend this book because it is very real and makes you realize people go through on a daily basis. I liked how the author chose to write about a topic that is somewhat ignored today.

Fall Out Boy

The Kids Aren't Alright by Fall Out Boy