A Shelter in Our Car

By Monica Gunning
Illustrated by Elaine Pedlar

Paperback: $11.95

Hardcover: out of stock


Zettie and her Mama left their warm and comfortable home in Jamaica for an uncertain life in the United States. With Papa gone, Mama can't find a steady job that will sustain them and so they are forced to live in their car. But Mama's unwavering love, support, and gutsy determination give Zettie the confidence that, together, she and her mother can meet all challenges.

Monica Gunning's moving and authentic story about homelessness in an American city was developed with the help of the Homeless Children’s Network in San Francisco. Elaine Pedlar's strong and lively illustrations bring the story to life in vibrant chalk pastel.

Check out reading and craft tips created by the staff and partners of Reading to Kids, a grassroots organization dedicated to inspiring underserved children with a love of reading.

Inspire a philosophical exchange over A Shelter in Our Car with these discussion questions created by the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children, which is dedicated to bringing philosophical inquiry into schools.

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About the Creators

Thumb_monica_gunning Monica Gunning - Author

Monica Gunning was born in Jamaica, West Indies, and immigrated to the United States to work and further her education. After graduating, she became a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The author of critically acclaimed poetry books for children, she has also published extensively in magazines and anthologies. She lives in Laguna Niguel, California. (Photo credit: Bill Johnson)

Thumb_elaine_pedlar Elaine Pedlar

Elaine Pedlar was born in Queens, New York, the youngest girl of seven children. She graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1987 and, since then, has been a fashion designer. Single and living in a loft in Brooklyn, she has nine nieces and nephews that she loves dearly. This is her first book for children. (Photo credit: Brian Sullivan)