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.
is a counselor at a North York group home for adults with developmental disabilities. She earned her B.A. in fine arts studies at York University and her B.Ed. in adult education at Brock. This is her third YA novel, after Grist and Fighting the Current, both of which garnered rave reviews. Heather hails from small-town Ontario but now lives in Toronto with Moose, her rambunctious golden retriever.
"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.
— 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