Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
- Reading age: 9 to 12
Travels with My Family
Family vacations are supposed to be something to look forward to. Unless, that is, your parents have a habit of turning every outing into a risky proposition — by accident, of course. So instead of dream vacations to Disney World and motels with swimming pools, these parents are always looking for that out-of-the-way destination where other tourists don't go. Their adventures involve eating grasshoppers in Mexico, forgetting the tide schedule while collecting sand dollars off the coast of Georgia, and mistaking alligators for logs in the middle of Okefenokee Swamp.
On the Road Again
In the sequel to Travels With My Family, the family is on the road again — this time to spend a year in a tiny village in southern France.
They experiences the spring migration of sheep up to the mountain pastures, the annual running of the bulls (in which Charlie's father is trapped in a phone booth by a raging bull), and other adventures large and small. Most of all, though, Charlie and his little brother, Max, grow fond of their new neighbors — the man who steals ducks from the local river, the neighbor's dog who sleeps right in the middle of the street and their new friends Rachid and Ahmed, who teach them how to play soccer in the village square.
Summer in the City
Charlie can't wait for school to be over. But he's wondering what particular vacation ordeal his parents have lined up for the family this summer. Canoeing with alligators in Okefenokee? Getting caught in the middle of a revolutionary shootout in Mexico? Or perhaps another trip abroad?
Turns out, this summer the family is staying put, in their hometown — Montreal, Canada. A "staycation," his parents call it. Charlie is doubtful at first but, ever resourceful, decides that there may be adventures and profit to be had in his own neighborhood.
The Traveling Circus
Charlie and his family are about to embark on another trip, to another out-of-the-way place off the beaten path. This time they are heading to an island in Croatia, a country Charlie has never even heard of. An incredibly beautiful country that lives in the shadow of war and conflict.
Even for a seasoned traveler like Charlie, Croatia is a very different experience. To travel in a country where the language is completely unfamiliar and half the words have no vowels. To visit remote villages where the Internet is so slow, you might as well not have it at all. Where goats are a traffic-calming device, red cliffs loom like fortresses over an impossibly blue sea, and luggage porters are a line of women pushing wheelbarrows.
About the authors
MARIE-LOUISE GAY has achieved international acclaim as an author and illustrator of children’s books. She has won many awards, including two Governor General’s awards, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. She has also been nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Marie-Louise’s very popular Stella and Sam series has been translated into more than fifteen languages and is loved by children all over the world. Her recent books include Any Questions? and Short Stories for Little Monsters. She lives in Montreal. marielouisegay.com
David Homel has translated over 30 books, many by Quebec authors. He won the Governor General's Literary Award in translation in 1995 for Why Must a Black Writer Write About Sex? by Dany Laferrière; his translation of Laferrière's How to Make Love to a Negro was nominated in 1988; and he won the prize in 2001 with fellow translator Fred A. Reed for Fairy Wing. His novels, which include Sonya & Jack, Electrical Storms, and The Speaking Cure have been published in several languages. Homel lives in Montreal, Quebec.