By Polly Horvath
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374380700, 208pp.)
Publication Date: July 14, 2005
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From the author of the Newbery Honor Book Everything on a Waffle
When his mother decides on a whim to be a missionary in Africa and drags his unwilling father with her, Henry is left in the care of his Aunts Magnolia and Pigg. Henry’s sure they dislike him and he’s trying to keep his distance, but that becomes more difficult when Mag decides they should take a destination-less road trip. Mag, convalescing from an illness that makes her look like death, is downright crabby. Pigg, tense from driving, is becoming more assertive and less willing to submit to Mag’s whims. And while they poke each other – literally – Henry is finding it hard to keep his resolution.
They go to Virginia Beach (it’s too hot); try camping in the Everglades (Henry accidentally spends four days floating in a swamp); visit their daddy, Henry’s granddaddy (Henry’s never met him!); and lose Pigg to love in Oklahoma (what would the radio psychologist Daly Kramer say?) before they finally receive word that Henry’s parents are coming back and will meet them in Tulsa to finish the trip with Mag and Henry. But his parents are bickering and Henry is in despair – until he surrenders to the road and decides to let whatever happens happen, but to be there in it all.
Complete with her signature cast of eccentric characters, absurd situations, and heartfelt moments, Polly Horvath writes an on-the-road epic like no other!
Polly Horvath is the author of many books for young people, including Everything on a Waffle, The Pepins and Their Problems, The Canning Season and The Trolls. Her numerous awards include the Newbery Honor, the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, the Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature, the Mr. Christie Award, the International White Raven, and the Young Adult Canadian Book of the Year. Horvath grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She attended the Canadian College of Dance in Toronto and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York City. She has taught ballet, waitressed, done temporary typing, and tended babies, but while doing these things she has always also written. Now that her children are in school, she spends the whole day writing, unless she sneaks out to buy groceries, lured away from her desk by the thought of fresh Cheez Whiz. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and two daughters.
"At once poignant, funny, and wise, this book gives new meaning to the phrase, 'The best journeys never end.'" -- Starred, Publishers Weekly
"Horvath spins another delightfully offbeat yarn, complete with her signature cast of eccentric characters, wacky situations, poignant moments, and snappy dialogue. Another hit for Horvath." -- Starred, School Library Journal
"A new offering from the queen of offbeat is always a welcome holiday." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Bitingly funny. A celebration of the clarity that can come when one simply decides just to be." -- The Horn Book
"Horvath's unhurried eccentricity is perfectly suited to this kind of picaresque novel. Horvath fans ... will want to grab a seat on this wierd yet compelling road trip." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books