Departure Time

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Overview

A run-down hotel on a bare plain: the only hiding place for a girl in the rain. Once inside, a fox offers her a chair. A suspicious rat acts like he has met her before. But she can't remember anything. Not even her own name.... At the hotel she finds more questions than answers. She hears piano music, but can't find the piano. And what about the pieces of paper flying around the plain? While she tries to mend these pieces together, the pieces in her mind start to come together as well. And then she remembers the ...
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Departure Time

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Overview

A run-down hotel on a bare plain: the only hiding place for a girl in the rain. Once inside, a fox offers her a chair. A suspicious rat acts like he has met her before. But she can't remember anything. Not even her own name.... At the hotel she finds more questions than answers. She hears piano music, but can't find the piano. And what about the pieces of paper flying around the plain? While she tries to mend these pieces together, the pieces in her mind start to come together as well. And then she remembers the question she really wants to be answered.

DEPARTURE TIME is an amazing journey of a girl in two stories. There is the girl in the hotel with the fox and the rat. And there is the girl with a father who travels a lot and who suggests to write a story together. A story about talking animals. But she doesn't want to. She is angry with him, because he can't make her birthday in time. Again. The two stories slowly start to intertwine and come together in a surprising ending.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—A 10-year-old girl is lost in a surrealistic landscape—a red-earth desert threatened by an approaching storm. Nothing looks familiar. She can't remember how she got to this place. Alternating with this classic bad-dream setting, which is narrated in the third person, is a first-person, furious tirade by a girl who feels abandoned by her father and neglected by her mother. Readers will be intrigued by the way Matti interweaves these stories and tantalizes with the possible connections between them. At first, the novel is like a puzzle mystery, but as it begins to make more and more sense, readers recognize that the stories are one story about anger and forgiveness, loss and grief, and consolation. Matti takes readers on an enigmatic journey through a landscape that encompasses the profundities of life and death and of love that transcends all boundaries. Remarkable and arresting and wholly original, this novel lingers in the mind long after the last page has been read.—Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
An eleven-year-old girl seeks shelter in an old, rundown hotel operated by a fox who is also the chef and a rat who is also the handyman. The rat is immediately angry with the girl, who cannot remember her name or where she is from and does not understand why the rat is so abrupt with her. This story thread parallels the tale of another eleven-year-old whose father died in an accident, which would not have happened had he been home for her birthday. The two stories slowly begin to intertwine until the reader realizes that the part with the talking animals is a tale written by the father. Another girl who is hiding in the hotel and playing the piano is possibly the orphaned girl. Older teens might find this story intriguing, but the average eleven-year-old reader is unlikely to understand the subtleties. It is a book perhaps better understood in the original Dutch version, but the writing is stellar and the story compelling. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608980093
  • Publisher: namelos
  • Publication date: 5/15/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 1,122,293
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Truus Matti has been an editor at the Frederik Muller Academy and a production assistant in publishing. She attended the Rietveld Academy and worked in film and animation before devoting herself to writing. Departure Time is her first novel.
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