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Children's Fiction General


by (author) Heather Waldorf

Red Deer Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2008
General, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2008
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 14 to 18
  • Grade: 7 to 12


On Resource Links Best Books of 2009 list

An opportunity to escape a dull summer - and perhaps to find a future for herself after high school - persuades Rainey Williamson to join a school-sponsored program that will take her and five other teenagers on an eight-week road trip across Canada. The challenge of this journey is heightened, in view of the fact that Rainey has had to wear an artificial leg from birth. On the eve of her getaway, a crucial complication arises: she finds out that the mother who left when she was just a few months old is alive and well and living in Squamish, B.C., directly on the route of the student expedition. What's more, her mother now wants to see her.

Rainey's ambivalent at the prospect, to say the least. The cross-country trip begins, and she soon meets the others who become friends and comrades, all with issues and challenges to deal with. Rainey discovers her own strengths as she struggles with the decision about whether or not to meet her mother and figuring out what she might do with her life. In the end she discovers that her family tree is more extensive than she'd thought - and that taking chances provides perspective, opportunity, and a springboard from which to launch her future - and even a way back home.

The story is laced with Heather Waldorf's customary sharp intelligence and sense of humour - and her understanding of the themes teenagers are most engaged with.

About the author

Heather Waldorf was born in Ottawa and raised in small-town Eastern Ontario. She now lives in Toronto with Moose, a twelve-year-old golden retriever. Heather is addicted to green tea, jigsaw puzzles, mystery novels and the tv show Bones. Also a lover of the great outdoors, she's never written a novel that doesn't, at some point, put the main character in a canoe. Heather has written several books for teen readers; Leftovers is her first book with Orca Book Publishers.

Heather Waldorf's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Waldorf has written a unique story in which six very different young people are united in a common cause. Told with wit and humor, this fast-paced novel has character development that is extraordinary. Most young adults will easily identify with at least one person or theme."
School Library Journal

"Tripping engages teen readers by effectively speaking to them while avoiding didactic lessons or moralistic endings. While the trip, itself, may seem extraordinary and beyond belief, Waldorf's novel shines due to her characters and their internal struggles as they approach maturity and begin their own self-exploration.
Highly Recommended."
CM Magazine

"A satisfying, entertaining and engaging story. . . Teen readers will eagerly hitch a ride on this cross-country adventure."

"Rainey is written with sympathy but still as a character that is accountable for her actions. . . Students who enjoy reading about wilderness adventures as well as those who enjoy reading about overcoming difficulties, physical and emotional, would enjoy this novel.
Resource Links

"Tripping is a gut wrenching, inspirational and absolutely wonderful YA. The Writing is crisp and the main character is flawed, courageous. . . I really enjoyed this touching book."

"Tripping is a typical teenage angst book — touching on all the hot topics, i.e. alcoholism, divorce, abandonment, sex, drugs, teen pregnancy, with disabilities thrown in to boot. It is an easy read and may appeal to the reader who is looking for a diary type of book. The storyline was inventive and the characters were engaging. Tripping is definitely a teenage girl book and would serve well to be part of a series. The characters are likeable and believable while the plot is interesting enough to make the reader want to know what is happening next."
Pennsylvania School Library Association

Librarian Reviews


As one of six Toronto-area teens selected for an eight week long study/camping trip, Rainey is both eager and filled with anxiety. She knows that this trip is more than just a summer-long outdoor adventure. For one thing, she is hoping that she will make some decisions about finding a practical career that will please her father – even though all she really wants to do is draw and paint and maybe go to art college.

There is another major decision to make. The final stop on their tour will bring Rainey to the hometown of Sara, the mother who left when Rainey was only six months old. After all these years, Sara has sought contact with her daughter but she has left it up to Rainey to decide if she wants to meet. While her father and his new wife clearly feel that she should seize this opportunity, Rainey isn’t so sure. But as the summer unfolds and she watches her peers confront their own issues, she finds the courage to do what she needs to do and comes to some important conclusions.

Heather Waldorf’s latest offering is an absorbing story that touches on a terrific number of issues faced by contemporary teens. Rainey’s traveling companions each have their own stories – stories of loss, rejection and betrayal – and Rainey herself has recently faced a staggering number of challenges. Yet she is a feisty young woman who meets the hardships that she encounters on this trip bravely. Her passion and determination make her a likeable character and the fact that she is physically handicapped makes her all the more admirable – particularly when she uses her prosthetic leg to bash a bear! It is wonderful to have a book that offers readers a handicapped protagonist whose disability is neither the focus of the story nor a barrier to her in any way. This will make it a valuable addition to school and classroom libraries.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2009. Volume 32 Number 1.

Other titles by Heather Waldorf