Overview

Twelve-year-old Jane Peeler is about to embark on a summer ritual: the family car trip. Along with her two younger brothers, Bill and Bernie, Jane will endure traffic jams, singalongs, and fights over who gets the window on a two-day car trip to New England. With help from her Walkman, it may not be too bad, even if her chain-smoking, grumpy grandmother is coming along. But during a stop at a gas station, the kids meet Marty – a kind, penniless old man with a problem. How will he get to his brother’s funeral in ...
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The Way to Schenectady

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Overview

Twelve-year-old Jane Peeler is about to embark on a summer ritual: the family car trip. Along with her two younger brothers, Bill and Bernie, Jane will endure traffic jams, singalongs, and fights over who gets the window on a two-day car trip to New England. With help from her Walkman, it may not be too bad, even if her chain-smoking, grumpy grandmother is coming along. But during a stop at a gas station, the kids meet Marty – a kind, penniless old man with a problem. How will he get to his brother’s funeral in Schenectady the next day? Jane would like to help him out – but how? Bringing a friend along on holiday is one thing, but a total stranger?

Readers will delight in the hilarious detours the Peelers must make to get their newest passenger, and themselves, to their destination on time.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lori M. Saporosa
Combine three siblings, one father, and one hard-to-get-along-with grandmother and you have the makings of this book. While it typically includes rivalry between the brother and sister, it reaches beyond that to address current social issues. The main character is Jane Peeler, a pre-teenager who must make a crucial choice between saving time and reaching her destination sooner, or helping a homeless and hopeless stranger. She recalls lessons that her mother taught her and relies upon her own judgment. In the end she makes the more compassionate choice which unexpectedly helps to soften her grandmother's brazenness. The overall moral? Sometimes you have to go with the flow of life, because it can't always be planned.
Children's Literature
In this wacky road trip novel, young Jane Peeler discovers a homeless man on a quest to attend his brother's funeral. She brings him along as a stowaway. Filled with quirky characters and off beat humor, this is a unique look at a familiar story line. The family dynamics of the Peelers are realistic and revealing. Kids will admire Jane's commitment to "doing the right thing." 1999, Tundra Books, $5.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Alexandria LaFaye
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6Written with a light and lively touch, this is an enjoyable family story with a few flaws. Jane Peeler relates the events as she, her brothers Ben and Bernie, and their father embark on a long car ride from Toronto to Massachusetts to meet their mother, who has been away on business. Jane is sure the trip is doomed when they must make room for their grandmother, who is long and thin and stringy and rather stern. Along the way, Jane befriends Marty, a homeless man, and allows him to stow away in their van (one of those dont-try-this-at-home plot devices). Long estranged from his family, he is trying to get to Schenectady for his brothers funeral. By the end of the journey, most of the characters have grown: Bernie is finally willing to be toilet trained, Jane has discovered that her grandmother isnt so bad after all, and Marty has been reunited with his family. The plot strains credulity at times, and some of the characters are nearly caricatures (the father is much too nice to be believed and the grandmother is far too nasty) but readers will enjoy getting to know the likable Peeler family. A humorous romp.Cyrisse Jaffee, formerly at Newton Public Schools, MA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
“A rollicking great read.”
Children’s Bookwatch

“There are moments…that are snort-out-loud funny.”
City Parent

“A hilarious account of a family’s car trip that captures the tradition, friction, and inevitable detours that accompany this annual summer ritual…At times the dialogue is so snappy that one senses there is a well-choreographed play just beneath the surface of the novel.”
Quill & Quire

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781770490475
  • Publisher: Tundra
  • Publication date: 2/14/2012
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

A columnist and novelist, Richard Scrimger grew up in Toronto, always writing but never really considering it a career, until after the birth of his first two children, twins, when he discovered the only time he could seriously write was during their naps. His style clearly demonstrates the influence of his experiences as a waiter in Toronto’s upscale restaurants, and as a stay-at-home father to his four children.

Genuinely witty, his work can be described as multi-dimensional - comic elements ride upon the surface, supported by varying levels of seriousness underneath.

Columns detailing Richard’s adventures in parenthood have been published in The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, and Today’s Parent, and were compiled in a collection titled Still Life with Children. His first adult novel, Crosstown, was a finalist for the City of Toronto Book Award. His first children’s novel, The Nose from Jupiter, won the 10th annual Mr. Christie Book Award, was selected as an A.B.A. Kid’s Pick of the List title, and was a finalist for the Ontario Library Association’s 1999 Silver Birch Award.

Richard Scrimger is also the author of The Way to Schenectady about the adventures of the Peeler family on the road; Mystical Rose, an adult novel; and a sequel to The Nose from Jupiter entitled A Nose for Adventure. In 2001 Scrimger published Bun Bun’s Birthday a picture book illustrated by Gillian Johnson, and a Peeler Christmas story called Of Mice and Nutcrackers. He and his family live in Cobourg, Ontario.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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