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The Wanderer


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About the Author

Sharon Creech has won, or been shortlisted for, nearly every major literary award for children's books, both in the USA and UK, as well as selling all over the world. And she won the Carnegie Medal for outstanding children's literature with her novel Ruby Holler . Sharon is an American who lived in England for nineteen years. She now lives in New Jersey, USA, with her husband.


Gr 5-9-Thirteen-year-old Sophie, her two cousins, and her three uncles sail across the Atlantic Ocean to England in a 45-foot sailboat, fulfilling the men's lifelong dream. The trip is also a perfect opportunity to visit the ailing patriarch of the family, Bompie, who recently left the U.S. and returned to his birthplace. Sophie conveys her fascination with the sea in journal entries and retells many of Bompie's stories. Cousin Cody, also 13, keeps his own journal and it is through his entries that readers learn that Sophie's view of things is not always reliable and that she does not always tell the truth. Sophie is actually adopted and has never met Bompie. What happened to her birth parents? Why does she pretend her adopted family is her only family? And why does she pretend to know a man she has never met? These questions will keep readers motivated to discover the answers to the girl's secrets. During the journey, the shipmates endure a dangerous storm that reveals truths about each of them and allows Sophie to face the truth. The first-person immediacy and episodic nature of the narratives allow for piecemeal but intimate revelation of character. The story is exciting, funny, and brimming with life. For each crew member, there is a conscious journey to Bompie across the sea, and an unconscious one of self-discovery. This is a beautifully written and imaginatively constructed novel that speaks to the power of survival and the delicacy of grief.-Katie O'Dell, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

In a starred review of this Newbery Honor book, PW wrote, "Like Walk Two Moons, this intimate novel poetically connects journey with self-discovery. Creech once again captures the ebb and flow of a vulnerable teen's emotional life, in this enticing blend of adventure and reflection." Ages 8-12. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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