The author of the book whose query is posted just below this post has submitted a revision:
I made a few changes to the plot. Instead of Leslie being choked, it's Tony being brutally beat on by his father. Leslie [Spoiler alert] gets her father's gun and shoots her father.
Here's the revised query:
When Tony's back is against the wall, his little sister Leslie is there to save him; she shoots their abusive father to death. Tony realizes that the police will find the dead body and look for the shooter. And if they catch them, they'll separate the siblings by taking Leslie to juvenile and Tony to a foster home. [I've seen "juvie" used as slang for juvenile detention center or juvenile court. Is the noun juvenile ever used to refer to a place? In any case, juvie isn't a place I would expect a seven-year-old girl to be taken. Then again, I wouldn't expect her to have access to a loaded gun or the skill to use one, either.] No way is he letting that happen, not when he and Les can just blend into the streets. But how long can a sixteen-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl survive in cutthroat northeast Bed-Stuy?
Luckily, while on the run, they stumble upon a nice family—Will and Rita Thompson—that’s willing to take them in. But they don't know Tony and Leslie's past. All they know is the two kids and are without a home. When a home invasion robbery ensues, it's Tony's turn to do something incriminating. [You mean something illegal?] The police eventually arrive on the scene and Will hides both children in the living room closet to protect them from an interrogation. [You'd better tell us what it is Tony did that Will thinks shouldn't be revealed to the police. When your home is being invaded, you're allowed to do a few things that might otherwise be considered crimes. As you are when your brother is being attacked by a drunk bastard.]
Leslie makes a noise and the police are on to their game. Tony can’t just stand by and let them get caught. But the only way out just might land them in a hole bigger than the one they’re already in. [The way out of a closet is usually the way you went in. Is there a trap door that opens over a pit?]
US AGAINST THE WORLD is YA realistic fiction, set in an urban landscape during the 1990’s. It is complete at 78,000 words.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
You've taken us a little further into the story. A family takes them in, but soon they are apparently on the run again. I'm not sure anything they've done requires them to live on the streets, but I guess it's what Tony believes that matters.
However, they need a goal, beyond evading the cops. Does Tony think they can survive on the streets until Leslie is an adult? Probably not, so what is his ultimate plan?