Crossing Montana, Grade 7

Crossing Montana, Grade 7

by Laura Torres

Editorial Reviews

Callie decides to take charge, and search for her grandfather who has disappeared. And why shouldn't she? After all, Callie has been in charge of her younger brother most of his life, and she has taken care of herself since her own father died. And now, to her dismay, all Callie's mother and grandmother seem to care about is auctioning off the family farm. Young Callie thinks that she knows exactly where her missing grandfather has gone�fishing in the lakes of Montana. So, Callie takes the car, some easy-to-grab-cash, and her mom's handy credit card, and heads to the very state where her father died. What Callie doesn't count on, though, is an unexpected stowaway in her car's back seat; a credit card that simply won't work; and literally hundreds of great fishing spots to search all over Montana. If ever there was a time she needed a friend to help her with her travails, the time is now. In the spirit of Sharon Creech's Newbery Medal winner, Walk Two Moons, author Laura Torres takes her readers on a journey towards self-understanding by underlining the importance of family history to uncovering who we really are. 2002, Holiday House, 119 pp.,
— Lu Ann Brobst Staheli
When fifteen-year-old Callie's grandfather disappears without explanation, she takes her mother's car and goes looking for him. Her nine-year-old brother, Stink, stows away in the trunk and complicates the search because she has to care for him while trying to find her grandfather. On her journey, she comes to terms with her father's mysterious death; learns to accept help from Raf, her crush since she was eleven; and finds out that she can cope with the darkness that consumed her father and threatens to consume her. Callie is a strong character in this coming-of-age story. She has taken care of her family for a long time without realizing her strength. She understands herself and her family better by the end of this quick read. The adventures of Callie and Stink on their own as they overcome many obstacles keep the reader interested while Callie comes to appreciate her relationship with her father. The main characters are complex. Callie is responsible but also afraid. Stink is young but will overcome his fears to help his sister. Raf is good but will disobey his parents to be there for his friend when she needs him. Most students will be able to relate to them all and will enjoy their story. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2002, Holiday House, 144p, Dubois
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 7-10 Callie's mother rushes the 10th grader and her 9-year-old brother, Stink, from their home in Washington to Idaho because their grandfather is missing. From clues he had given her in the past and seeing that his favorite fishing gear is gone, Callie assumes he has headed to a special spot on the Gallatin River, and she decides to search for him, in secret. She takes her mother's car and some money and begins her journey to Montana, only to discover that Stink has stowed away in the trunk. Ultimately, she finds her grandfather, drunk and unruly, trying to swipe a prime fishing spot on the river. Her romantic interest, Raf, shows up in the nick of time to rescue her and encourages her to return home. Told in flashbacks, the story involves a parallel plot about Callie's father, who left on a trip across Montana when she was small and then died in an automobile crash. This is as much a book about Callie seeking answers and closure over his absence and death as it is a quest for her missing grandfather. Characters are adequately drawn but some elements of the plot seem implausible, created simply to get Callie to Montana to learn the truth about her father-his "accident" was actually suicide. Han Nolan's Dancing on the Edge (Harcourt, 1997), Norma Fox Mazer's Girlhearts (2001), and Sharon Creech's Walk Two Moons (1994, both HarperCollins) are superior books about teenagers leading difficult lives while seeking the truth about themselves and missing parents. -Diane P. Tuccillo, City of Mesa Library, AZ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Grandpa has disappeared again and Claire and her family must make the trip out to Idaho to try and help find him. His disappearance prompts a discussion of another missing person: Claire's father. He seemed energized with a superhuman energy one moment and unable to crawl out of his darkened bedroom the next. His death, while originally presented as an accident, is found to be a confused tangle of drugs and suicide and Claire's mother is left unable to cope with the loss. She is incapable of focusing on any one task for long, even basic housework seems to allude her. As they make the trip east from the moist Seattle landscape to the arid desert of Idaho, memories of her father flood Claire's thoughts. She remembers his insistence that she learn three languages at once and his determination that she should inherently understand how to swim without formal instruction. She also remembers his inability to function for days on end, lost in the depths of depression. Claire, with the help of her younger brother Stink and her friend, Raf, begins to accept the deficiencies of her family, eventually managing to put the memory of her father to rest. As she copes with the tangled feelings of identity and love, she also realizes that she must confront the possibility of mental illness in her own life. Absorbing and powerful. (Fiction. 12+)

Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

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