William "Scoob" Lamar, an African American boy, and his unconventional Caucasian grandmother, G' Ma, are the main characters in "Clean Getaway."
They are tight-knit, their bond growing even stronger as the spry 76-year-old takes "Scoob" on a road trip across the south. It's a trip G'Ma took in the 60s with her husband. G'Ma's mission is to revisit the same spots and complete the journey that previously was cut short by unsavory circumstances.
Along the way, author Nic Stone uses historic places where significant events occurred in the 60s to educate her grandson as to the struggles African Americans endured to gain equal rights. She also brings her copy of "The Green Book" along, explaining its use to "Scoob." All of this information is deftly incorporated into the story and works to educate "Scoob," as it will to inform young readers.
"Scoob" learns a great deal about his personal history as well. Feeling a bit estranged from his rules-spouting father, and in trouble with him because of an incident at school, "Scoob" embraces the escape route the road trip provides and the opportunity to be with his beloved grandmother. But as the miles roll by in her camper, G’Ma’s behavior grows increasingly erratic until "Scoob" begins to grow concerned, then alarmed, and feels it might be best to return home.
While Stone is an apt storyteller, at times G'Ma's actions seem a bit of a stretch, and the secretive nature of G'Ma and "Scoob," in regard to letting "Scoob's" father know their whereabouts, is bothersome, giving an inappropriate message to young readers.
Still, "Clean Getaway" is entertaining and educational.