The Prince of Venice Beach
The Prince of Venice Beach
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Annotation: Robert "Cali" Callahan, seventeen, gets swept up into the private-investigator business and must deal with the ramifications of looking for fellow runaways who may not want to be found, and with falling in love with one of them.
Catalog Number: #96393
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2015
Pages: 233 pages
Availability: Available (Limited Quantities Available / While Supplies Last)
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-23046-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-85566-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-23046-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-85566-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2013012248
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Robert "Cali" Callahan is a 17-year-old runaway living on the streets of Venice Beach, surfing, playing basketball, and spending his nights in the tree house of a well-meaning local woman. Cali has a reputation of being the guy who can find anyone for a little cash, so when he is approached to help locate Reese Abernathy, the daughter of a wealthy Silicone Valley financier, he accepts, hoping to turn his side business into a real detective agency. Instead, Reese finds Cali, and after hearing her story, Cali begins to question both the motives of the people trying to find her and his own for accepting the offer. Cali is a dispassionate narrator whose determination to do the right thing without being sure what it is reveals a sensitive, street-smart kid who is, nonetheless, heartbreakingly naive. In a briskly paced novel with a noir sensibilty, Nelson (Recovery Road, 2011) exposes the dangerous reality of life on the streets without overdramatization or sentimentality.
Horn Book
Seventeen-year-old Robert "Cali" Callahan has a knack for finding missing people. He's recruited to find missing girl Reese, but he falls for her instead, and ultimately doesn't know whether he should trust her version of the truth or her father's. Nelson vividly captures the energy of the Venice Beach community, both the physical setting and the eclectic characters that populate it.
Publishers Weekly
Nelson (Recovery Road) combines a hardboiled first-person narrative and a languid Southern California setting to establish a seductive surf noir atmosphere in the story of Robert -Cali- Callahan, a 17-year-old runaway who-s testing out a potential career as a private investigator on the streets of Venice Beach. Cali-s doing pretty well for himself: he has a rent-free treehouse to sleep in, is generally well-liked by the other denizens of the boardwalk, and can hold his own on Venice-s infamous streetball courts. When Cali starts getting quiet offers to track down persons of interest (a runaway kid here, a transient there), he-s thrilled by his early successes, but learns that not knowing where the money is coming from puts him on ethically murky ground. Cali is smart, perceptive, and fairly aware of his own shortcomings, and his strong desire to help drives this moody, fast-moving novel. Although secondary characters (especially the women in Cali-s life) aren-t quite as fully developed as he is, Cali-s romantic entanglements only add to his confusion over how to do the right thing. Ages 12-up. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (June)

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up&12; Robert Callahan is a 17-year-old runaway. After his father's abandonment and his mother's accidental death early on, he has experienced life as a foster child, being shuttled from one family to the next. Robert finally takes control of his destiny and escapes the harshness of Omaha, Nebraska's social service system by running away to the streets of Venice Beach, California. He's a little luckier than most runaways&12;instead of sleeping in alleyways and digging in garbage for food, Robert has the support of Hope Stillwell, a Venice Beach resident who allows the teen access to her home and lets him live in a tree house in her backyard. Soon, Robert's cop friend, Detective Mitchell, refers him to a private investigator trying to locate a wealthy young San Francisco runaway. After Robert helps in a successful rescue, more referrals begin to come his way, but all of them are not from the friendly detective, and all of them do not necessarily end as happily. With each new investigation Robert takes on, he is faced with new life experiences and eye-opening self-evaluations, which have him pondering the future for the first time in his life. Up until this point, Robert's kept his existence under the radar to avoid detection by authorities. Now he's thinking of a future in private investigations&12;with business cards and all&12;but, most importantly, he realizes the need to further his education and to interact more extensively with society at large. Readers will anxiously follow Robert's adolescent journey of growth in this coming-of-age novel filled with exhilarating chases and heart pounding moments.&12; Sabrina Carnesi, Crittenden Middle School, Newport News, VA
Voice of Youth Advocates
Cali spends his days playing basketball, surfing, and skateboarding on the boardwalk of Venice Beach, California. He ran away from the foster care system in Nebraska at the age of fourteen and has been making a life for himself off the grid, biding his time until his eighteenth birthday, when he will be able to re-enter society as a legal adult. He has found some good friendsfrom the police detective who gives him occasional work to the woman who lets him live in the treehouse in her back yard. When his policeman friend asks him to help find a runaway who is suspected to be in the area, Cali not only finds the boy but also decides that he really enjoys the satisfaction of finding people and wants to be a private detective. Several challenging cases later, Cali has taken on a partner and is well on his way to a promising career.Cali is truly a sympathetic character. He is flawed, definitely, and subject to emotional involvement in his cases that might color his judgment, but overall, he has an aura of caring and determination that teens will find appealing. Though not without intense moments of violence and suspense, his story is fresh and cleanly told, without the language or sketchy content that one might expect given the subject matter. The reader ends up rooting for Caliand will know in the end that not only will he be okay, but also that his circle of friends and acquaintances will be well cared for.Laura Lehner.
Word Count: 49,525
Reading Level: 4.1
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.1 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 166664 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.8 / points:14.0 / quiz:Q63919
Lexile: HL530L

Robert "'Cali" Callahan is a teen runaway, living on the streets of Venice Beach, California. He's got a pretty sweet life: a treehouse to sleep in, a gang of surf bros, a regular basketball game...even a girl who's maybe-sorta interested in him.

What he doesn't have is a plan.

All that changes when a local cop refers Cali to a private investigator who is looking for a missing teenager. After all, Cali knows everyone in Venice. But the streets are filled with people who don't want to be found, and when he's hired to find the beautiful Reese Abernathy--who would do anything to stay hidden--Cali enters a new world filled with mysterious characters, dangerous choices, and his first chance at real love.

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