When his mother decides on a whim to become a missionary in Africa and drags his unwilling father along, Henry is left in the care of his aunts, Magnolia and Pigg. Henry is sure they dislike him and tries to keep his distance by moving into a closet, 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.
They go to Virginia Beach (too hot); try camping in the Everglades (Henry spends four days lost in the swamp); visit Henry's granddaddy (Henry has never met him); and lose Pigg to love in Oklahoma before they finally receive word that Henry's parents are coming back. Henry is often in despair -- until he surrenders to the road. A trip that at first seemed formless and meaningless slowly comes into focus and, in Horvath's inimitable way, becomes important and deeply meaningful.
Polly Horvath has written many outstanding books for children, including The Canning Season (National Book Award, CLA Young Adult Book Award); Everything on a Waffle (Newbery Honor Book, ALA Notable Book, Mr. Christie’s Book Award, Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize); The Corps of the Bare-boned Plane (Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize); The Vacation (Child Magazine Best Book Award, Chocolate Lily Award); My One Hundred Adventures (NAPPA Gold Award, Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize, Parents’ Choice Gold Award) and Northward to the Moon (Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize Finalist, Oprah’s Reading List). She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
Horvath spins another delightfully offbeat yarn, complete with her signature cast of eccentric characters, wacky situations, poignant moments, and snappy dialogue....this latest book, like its predecessors, bounces from the hilarious to the heartrending. Another hit for Horvath.
Horvath has a unique style, intermingling the grotesque and the absurd with the poignant.
Appropriately enough, [this] tale never really ends, just keeps going in a celebration of the clarity that can come when one simply decides just to be.
At once poignant, funny and wise, this book gives new meaning to the phrase, The best journeys never end.
Horvath is a master at creating unconventional characters, bizarre events and complicated truths.[...] The story events range from hilarious to heartbreaking.
Henry is a wonderful creation, an utterly appealing and believable centre of emotional gravity.
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