No and Me is the story of 13 year old Lou Bertignac - a bright Paris school girl dealing with the collapse of her family after the sudden death of her baby sister. Lou is extremely intelligent but struggles at school when it comes to making friends and fitting in. As part of a social sciences project for school Lou starts to conduct interviews with a young girl she has met at one of the metro stations. No is an adolescent who has been homeless for some years following the break down of her family life. She has established a tough exterior in order to survive on the streets but inside she is a teenager with hopes and fears. Lou and No tentatively build their friendship until Lou approaches her parents to ask them if No can come and live with them.
This was wonderful, if at times sad, story of the connection between the two girls but it also had a much broader message about the issue of homelessness in Paris (and the world in general) and through the character of Lou the social conscience of the book is able to come through;
I thought to myself that if everyone took in a homeless person, if everyone decided to look after just one person, to help them and be with them, perhaps there'd be fewer of them in the streets. My father told me that wouldn't work. Things are always more complicated than they seem. Things are what they are, and there are lots of things you can't do anything about. You probably have to accept that if you want to become an adult. We can send supersonic planes and rockets into space, and identify a criminal from a hair or a tiny flake of skin, and grow a tomato you can keep in the fridge for three weeks without it getting a wrinkle, and store millions of pieces of information on a tiny chip. Yet we're capable of letting people die in the street.