After a couple of duff ones from the library I hit lucky again.
The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe by Romain Puertolas. 4*
"The first word spoken by the Indian man Ajatashatru Oghash Rathod upon his arrival in France was, oddly enough, a Swedish word. Ikea."
The fakir has travelled to Paris to buy a new bed of nails. All he has with him is a fake 100 euro note. From there his journey takes him inadvertently to England, Spain, Libya, Paris, Rome.
It's an unusual tale, told with an eccentricity of its own, and is simply delightful. A tale of redemption, true love and a bed of nails.
Another well-written but far more earthy and distressing tale is Out of the Easy. By Ruh Sepetys, it's the story of Josie Moraine. Named after a famous Madam in New Orleans, Josie grows up in the 50s without a father but with her prostitute mother. She is smart and streetwise and dreams of escaping her situation by going to a prestigious college.
This young adult title gets 5* from an old adult.
I'm going to have to look for more by this author.