Years ago I fell in love with a quirky writer and quickly read a few of her books. I enjoyed them and my classes enjoyed them. To be honest I think the students liked them just because I read them out loud to them. (How can you not like a book that is read out loud to you? )
Polly Horvath has a great sense of humor in her writing and underneath lurks a deeper understanding of the world around. She has something to say in all the craziness of her characters. Her descriptions of people, and places are wonderful to read. She creates a world that is a bit out of the ordinary but very believable.
While surfing the web last week here comes Polly’s name again. I had forgotten all about her. She has been quietly writing and publishing away. She now has 16 books published. Amazing and what fun!
I saw the title Northward to the Moon, published in 2010, and downloaded it from the library. This turned out to be book two of Jane Fieldings adventures. I would recommend you start with My 100 Adventures just to get to know Jane and her family a bit more. (It was not down loadable at the library – darn!)
This is a quirky book about growing up, families – step parents, and understanding how we change as we grow. I must say that I was not completely excited about this books as I read it. There is not a big event but many small events and wonderings. I wasn’t sure where we were going – we were wondering just like Jane.
Jane, who is 13, was living with her family in Saskatchewan, Canada when her stepdad loses his job. (He teachers French but does not really speak French.) Since they feel the need to leave town they head out on a road trip west. The story is of their journey – the people they meet, old friends, family not seen for years, new friends along the way, troubles, bags of money unclaimed and how they manage within the family of 4 kids and 2 parents in a small car driving across the country.
Although I wasn’t completely enthralled with this book I keep thinking about it. I couldn’t really stop reading it – wondering about what was going to happen or not happen. I am intrigued by the quirkiness of the story. When I turned the last page I cared about this family. There is a bit of a surprise ending. I feel there must be another book in the series coming but that was 2010 and there is nothing I see about a third book.
I will go back to read My 100 Adventures – I seem to need to know more about Jane. It is funny how I am not sure who to recommend this book to and if I really like it but it just doesn’t leave me alone.
If you read it – and I think you should – let me know what you think!
If you don’t know Polly Horvath – take a look at some of her books. She is fun to read, her books center around family issues, they are quick reads and great for middle grade readers (3rd – 6th grade).