Soupy Leaves Home



Two misfits with no place to call home take a train-hopping journey from the cold heartbreak of their Eastern homes to the sunny promise of California in this Depression-era coming-of-age tale.

When Pearl runs away from her abusive father, she has nowhere to go—until she stumbles upon a disguise that gives her the key to a new identity. Reborn as a boy named Soupy, she hitches her star to Ramshackle, a hobo who takes her under his wing.

Ramshackle’s kindness and protection go a long way toward helping Soupy heal from her difficult past. But he has his own demons to wrestle with, and he’ll need Soupy just as much as she needs him.


Excellence in Graphic Literature Nominee 2018
– Best Middle Grade
– Mosaic Award
– Book of the Year

CYBILS Award Finalist 2017

ALA Amelia Bloomer Best Feminist Reads for Kids 2017
Soupy Leaves Home tells the story of a time no longer familiar to us—a time of living the rails and simmering Mulligan Soup, a time of chosen names and secret languages—yet a tale that anyone with a longing heart and a restless spirit can relate to. It transports you magically to a place long gone, but its tale of poverty and survival are still as relevant as they ever were—the characters may be penniless, but they are so emotionally wealthy that this book leaves you filled with warmth, hope, and love.”—Gerard Way

“Castellucci’s heartfelt odyssey is a reckoning with death and identity on the tracks, brought to life by Pimienta’s patient, ever-evolving use of color. Soupy Leaves Home is for all restless souls hungry to start again.”—Nate Powell (March, Swallow Me Whole)

“A charming and optimistic slice of Americana.”—Hope Larson (Wrinkle in Time, Batgirl)

“I love Cecil Castellucci, she is crazy and cool and full of energy and heart, and so is all of her work. And Soupy Leaves Home may be one of her finest and most effecting works yet!”—Jeff Lemire

“Soupy’s journey comes alive through richly color-saturated, usually monochromatic panels that orient readers to a bygone era. Castellucci has created a strong heroine who both defies conventionality and embodies empowerment; as her transformative journey nears its denouement, she makes a resolute decision: “I have to go and face my things or else I’ll never be free,” a message still highly relevant to today’s world. A compelling graphic offering that explores relevant gender roles and self-identity through a historical lens.”—Kirkus  *Starred review

“A well-researched and richly illustrated runaway tale that will appeal to fans of escapist fiction and thoughtful readers.”—Anna Murphy, Berkeley Carroll School, Brooklyn (School Library Journal Reviews)


CECIL CASTELLUCCI is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, First Day on Earth, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star, Stone in the Sky, and the Eisner-nominated Odd Duck. In 2015 she coauthored Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure, and in 2016 she worked on Shade, the Changing Girl, an ongoing comic for Gerard Way’s Young Animal imprint at DC Comics. Her picture book Grandma’s Gloves won the California Book Awards Gold Medal. Her short stories have been published in Strange Horizons, YARN,, and various anthologies, including Teeth, After, and Interfictions 2. She is the children’s correspondence coordinator for The Rumpus, a two-time MacDowell Fellow, and the founding YA editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books. She lives in Los Angeles.

JOSE PIMIENTA grew up in Mexicali, Mexico, watching a lot of cartoons and listening to as much music as possible. After finishing high school, he studied visual storytelling in Georgia, where he made friends and drank a lot of coffee. Eventually, he headed back to Southern California, where he currently resides. He draws on a regular basis and still listens to as much music as he can. He also enjoys recreational walks and whistling. Sometimes he goes by “Joe.”