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  • Title: The Way it Works
  • Author: William Kowalski
  • SBN: 9781554693672
  • Publisher: Orca
  • Category: Fiction
  • Series: Rapid Reads
  • Reading Level: 2.6 Fry Reading Level
  • Type: Paperback
  • Page Count: 111 


Walter Davis is young, handsome, intelligent, dynamic and personable. The product of a bi-racial marriage but abandoned by his father as a young child, he prides himself on three things: his drive to succeed, his fine clothes and never having been late for anything in his life. Walter is also homeless. The medical expenses that came with his mother's brief and unsuccessful battle against cancer have left him destitute. Still, ever the optimist, Walter believes that if he lives in his car for a few months, he will have the time he needs to find a good job in the business world and turn his life around.

His situation gets more complicated when he finds himself attracted to a girl he meets at the mailing center where he keeps a post box. But trying to impress a girl when you have no fixed address proves difficult, and when he's caught in a lie, she shuns his company. Walter's struggles grow when his car is impounded and he can't afford to pay the fine. Only resilience, ingenuity and his drive to succeed can bring Walter back from the brink of despair.


  • "Readers struggling with literacy issues or learning English will appreciate the simple, straightforward style and plot-driven narratives.  Diverse cultures, sensitive contemporary issues and social injustice are all difficult topics tackled appropriately without diverting the story. The discussion-worthy issues and themes are delivered via a high caliber plot and efficient style of writing. Recommended." - CM Magazine
  • "One of the series' strongest titles. With understated, sobering, and detailed realism, Kowalski shows how easily a person can lose everything, and the ingenuity and strength Davis summons to solve daily logistical problems, and fall in love, will hook readers. With rare voices and taut suspense, these titles provide accessible choices for struggling and strong readers alike." -Booklist 
  • "Reluctant readers will be drawn to the fast-moving story with its modern, urban setting and sympathetic, true-to-life hero." - School Library Journal

About the Author

William Kowalski is the award-winning author of four previous novels, including the international bestseller Eddie's Bastard. He also teaches communications skills to adult learners at Nova Scotia Community College. He lives on the South Shore of Nova Scotia with his wife and children.

About the Series

Rapid Reads is a new line of short novels for new young adult and adult readers. Rapid Reads are intended for a diverse audience, including ESL students, reluctant readers, adults who struggle with literacy and anyone who wants and enjoys high-interest short novels. The plots are contemporary and entertaining, with adult language and themes.