The Wanderer
published in 2002

Description

"I am not always such a dreamy girl, listening to the sea calling me. My father calls me Three-sided Sophie: one side is dreamy and romantic; one is logical and down-to-earth; and the third side is hardheaded and impulsive." Thirteen-year-old Sophie, skipping between "dreamland or earthland or muleland, " hears the sea calling her. Much to the concern of her adopted parents, she decides to join her uncles and male cousins on a sailing voyage from Connecticut across the Atlantic to England (and her grandfather Bompie) on a 45-foot sailboat. Not only does she want to make the trip, she feels she has to. This perilous cross-Atlantic journey will make young readers feel the wind in their hair and the salt spray on their face. Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech ( Walk Two Moons ) describes the sailing experience with astonishing precision--from the smell of the sea to the intricate workings of The Wanderer itself. Along the way, Sophie proves her bravery and competence to the rather grumpy all-male crew; intrigues and captivates her cousin Cody with her beautiful, odd stories of Bompie that always somehow end in underwater disaster and apple pie; and spills her heart into a daily journal. Readers get another angle on her, too, as Cody keeps a log that alternates with hers. He grows to know, and like, and wonder about, his new cousin Sophie along with the reader, and as her mysterious past reveals itself bit by bit, we are all right there on the edge of our seats, ready for the boom to crash over to the other side. Sophie's adventures take her not only straight into perilous waves higher than buildings, but deep into her hidden past. This profound, suspenseful novel will pull you into its swift current and barely let you surface for breath. (Ages 9 to 13) --Karin Snelson