Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood (Atheneum Books for Young Readers hardcover, 20 May 2014).
It was bad enough three months earlier, when Iris' mother left to find herself, but her absence is even more evident now that school is out. Sure, she calls once a week, but neither Iris' dad nor her brother Sam want to talk to her. The house is a mess, and there's never any food around.
When Dad isn't working, he's at the pub. Sam's found a new group of friends with motorcycles and shaved heads. And a family of Travelers set up camp in the paddock near the house. Even though they're there illegally, the police don't want to move them along, because they'll just set up somewhere else they shouldn't.
Iris takes to watching them from her dad's bedroom window. They have a boy who appears to be around her age, and eventually Iris meets him. His name is Trick (short for Patrick) and they develop a friendship, walking and talking in the cornfield where they can't be seen.
The summer flows along. Iris' father becomes more and more annoyed with the gypsies, and Sam is out till all hours, getting into trouble. Something bad is bound to happen, but when it does, it's worse than she could possibly have imagined.
During just a few weeks, the lives of Iris and her family are completely changed in this engrossing and bittersweet story. It's a quick read (more so because it's difficult to put down), but the feelings that ensue will remain for some time.
FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher for the Advance Reading Copy.