The Wanderer

The Wanderer

4.3 188
by Sharon Creech, David Diaz
     
 

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"The sea, the sea, the sea. It rolled and rolled and called to me. Come in, it said, come in."

Thirteen-year-old Sophie hears the sea calling, promising adventure and a chance for discovery as she sets sail for England with her three uncles and two cousins. Sophie's cousin Cody isn't sure he has the strength to prove himself to the crew and to his father. Through

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Overview

"The sea, the sea, the sea. It rolled and rolled and called to me. Come in, it said, come in."

Thirteen-year-old Sophie hears the sea calling, promising adventure and a chance for discovery as she sets sail for England with her three uncles and two cousins. Sophie's cousin Cody isn't sure he has the strength to prove himself to the crew and to his father. Through Sophie's and Cody's travel logs, we hear stories of the past and the daily challenges of surviving at sea as The Wanderer sails toward its destination -- and its passengers search for their places in the world.

Editorial Reviews

barnesandnoble.com
With Walk Two Moons, Newbery Award-winning author Sharon Creech captured the hearts and imaginations of readers everywhere. Now, she takes us on a memorable new journey, with The Wanderer. In this moving and adventure-filled novel, 13-year-old Sophie is the only girl amongst the six-person crew of The Wanderer, sailing across the Atlantic. She's eager to face the challenges of the sea, though her cousin, Cody, doesn't seem to be serious about anything. Through Sophie's and Cody's engaging travel logs, the perilous journey of these six wanderers unfolds. But for Sophie, the true journey is into her past -- as she unlocks the pain she has been hiding from herself, and discovers what it means to belong to a family.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Sophie is a quietly luminous heroine, and readers will rejoice in her voyage.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Like Creech's Walk Two Moons and Chasing Redbird, this intimate novel poetically connects journey with self-discovery. When 13-year-old Sophie learns that her three uncles and two male cousins plan to sail across the Atlantic to visit the uncles' father, Bompie, in England, she begs to go along. Despite her mother's protests and the men's misgivings, Sophie joins the "motley" crew of the 45-foot The Wanderer and soon proves herself a worthy sailor. The novel unfolds through travel logs, predominantly penned by Sophie (with intermittent musings from her clownish cousin, Cody) that trace each leg of the eventful voyage; each opens with a handsome woodblock-like print by Diaz (Smoky Night). The teens' insightful observations reveal the frailties of both the boat and its six passengers, whose fears and regrets anchor them down. Sophie, who was adopted just three years ago, proves the most complicated and mysterious of all the characters; her ambivalent feelings about the sea ("The sea, the sea, the sea. It rolled and rolled and called to me... but some said I was too young and the sea was a dangerous temptress...") correlate to a repressed memory of a tragic accident. Stories Sophie tells about Bompie, as well as clever throwaway bits (such as the brothers' given names: Ulysses, Jonah and Moses), temper the novel's more serious undercurrents. Creech once again captures the ebb and flow of a vulnerable teen's emotional life, in this enticing blend of adventure and reflection. Ages 8-12. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Publishers Weekly
In a starred review of this Newbery Honor book, PW wrote, "Like Walk Two Moons, this intimate novel poetically connects journey with self-discovery. Creech once again captures the ebb and flow of a vulnerable teen's emotional life, in this enticing blend of adventure and reflection." Ages 8-12. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
To quote KLIATT's March 2000 review of the hardcover edition: Sophie, age 13, heads off on the adventure of a lifetime: she will spend a month crossing the Atlantic in a sailboat called The Wanderer with her three uncles and her two teenaged cousins, fusspot Brian and devil-may-care Cody... a force-10 gale hits and they barely survive the storm, but finally manage to make it to England where their grandfather Bompie now lives. On the trip, Sophie tells them stories of Bompie and his childhood escapades, in which he always nearly drowns but manages to pull through. These stories entertain but puzzle the others, because Sophie was just adopted three years ago, and she has never met Bompie... Sophie, of course, is a "wanderer" too, who has longed for years to belong to a family. Told in alternating journal entries written by Sophie and by Cody, this is an exciting and touching story of adventure on the high seas and of emotional discoveries. Life on the sailboat is described in careful detail, and the six on board realistically have their squabbles and their differences. The terror of the gale is particularly convincing, reminiscent of The Perfect Storm. Fanciful b/w drawings, resembling woodcuts, decorate each chapter opening. As in Walk Two Moons, Creech's Newbery Medal-winning novel, an important theme here is coping with loss, and the power of stories to help us deal with grief. The ending is full of hope, and readers will empathize with both Sophie and Cody as they survive their ordeal at sea and strive for understanding of themselves and others. (Editor's note: A Newbery Honor Book and an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults, among other honors.) KLIATTCodes: J*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior high school students. 2000, HarperTrophy, 306p. illus.,
— Paula Rohrlick
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech's latest novel is a multi-layered story that encompasses family drama, mystery and intrigue, and death defying sea adventure. It is also a touching coming of age saga about a girl coming to terms with grief. Thirteen-year-old Sophie is determined to join her three uncles and two cousins on a transatlantic journey aboard the 45-foot sailboat, The Wanderer. Sophie's grandfather, Bompie, awaits the family in England. During their journey, Sophie engages her travel companions with stories from Bompie's childhood. Sophie's anecdotes about Bompie ring true but they have the family puzzled. Sophie has never even met her grandfather--she is an orphan and has only been in the family for a few years. But there is no time to ponder such mysteries--the wave of Sophie's worst nightmare batters the sailboat and for some time the family's very survival is in doubt. The novel is related through the journal entries of Sophie and her thirteen-year-old cousin, Cody, a device that proves to be extremely effective. When the family finally reaches its destination, Sophie is able to gain closure from the tragic events of her early childhood. 2000, Joanna Cotler Books/HarperCollins, Ages 8 to 12, $15.95. Reviewer: Christopher Moning
"The sea, the sea. It rolled and rolled and called to me. Come in, it said, come in." Thirteen-year-old Sophie has begged her way aboard The Wanderer, Uncle Dock's 45-foot sailboat, for a voyage from Connecticut across the Atlantic Ocean to England and her grandfather, Bompie. It will be a dangerous voyage, but Sophie welcomes the challenge. She is a seasoned sailor whose seafaring skills match those of her three uncles and two cousins. The inevitable friction between close relatives in close quarters adds spark to the tale as these sailors face a storm that almost sinks their boat. They wonder if they'll live to see land again. Each character in this story comes to life on the pages. The perils and mysteries of the sea are so realistically presented that readers will feel the wind, hear the snap of the sails, and taste the salt spray as they find themselves intrigued by the mysterious Sophie herself. Why does she deny being an orphan? How can she know personally told tales from a grandfather she has never met? What happened to her parents? Newbery Medal winner for Walk Two Moons (HarperCollins, 1994), Sharon Creech, presents answers to these questions slowly and obliquely through logbook entries written by Sophie and her "dangerously charming" cousin, Cody. David Diaz's ink drawings at the chapter headings help pull the reader into the swirling sea scenes. Through words and pictures, readers come to understand and appreciate Sophie's love/hate relationship with the sea as her inner thoughts touch on profound ideas that readers can ponder as they relate her life to their own. Out here, there isn't day and night and then a new day. Instead, there are degrees of light and dark, mergingand changing. It's like one long stream of time unfolding in front of you, all around you . . . maybe people never die, but simply live on and on, leaving other planes behind . . . maybe we're not each just one person, but many people existing on millions of different planes . . .Sophie and the sailing ship are both wanderers in this story of adventure, courage and personal growth. The invitation is there for readers to test their own mettle by joining them. 2000, Harper Collins, $15.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Dorothy Francis — The Five Owls, May/June 2000 (Vol. 14 No. 5)
VOYA
Thirteenyearold Sophie joins three uncles and two male cousins for a sailing trip from New England to the British Isles. Their story is told through journal entries from both Sophie and her cousin Cody. On the surface, this novel seems to be a story of siX people learning to get along in small quarters despite personality differences and a variety of skill levels, but Creech tells another story here as well. By the siXth chapter, when we see Cody's first journal entry, we learn that Sophie was adopted into the family only three years before, even though she talks as if she always has been a member. Sophie's difficulty dealing with the death of her natural parents creates some tension with the other members of the crew. These emotional components of the story are as suspenseful and dramatic as the sea voyage itself. Both stories are told in an understated style with humor, making this novel rise above other adventure stories or angstridden tales of loss and acceptance. It will appeal to readers with many different tastes. Physically, the book also is of the highest quality, with small line drawings by Diaz heading each chapter. The Wanderer belongs in every young adult collection. PLB $15.89. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2000, HarperCollins, 288p, $15.95. Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Alice F. Stern

SOURCE: VOYA, December 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 5) <%ISBN%> 0060277300

School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-In this delightful collection of songs and stories, storyteller Diane Ferlatte is accompanied by Erik Pearson on banjo and guitar and by students from the Meadows Livingstone School in San Francisco. Some of the numbers are just plain fun like "The Word the Devil Made Up." "Donkey and the Lion Skin" relates a personal experience, and "Dog, Dog" is a flashback to social customs in the old south when Ferlatte's mother was a child. "The Talking Eggs," one of the longer selections, is sure to entertain youngsters who have read the African-American folktale. "Thank you M'am," a short story by Langston Hughes, is skillfully rendered, but there is one mistake. The woman's name is Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones. Other stories include "Feed My Cow," "The Talking Skull," "Juba," and "Hambone." The overall aural quality of the CD is excellent. Ferlatte has a pleasant voice that is particularly well suited for storytelling and singing. Listeners will enjoy these stories that touch on the importance of respect, honesty, caring, and sharing.-Shelia Brown, Normandy School District, St. Louis, MO Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Enicia Fisher
This inviting book will encourage the readers in your crew to take and early plunge into their summer reading.
The Christian Science Monitor
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Sophie is a quietly luminous heroine, and readers will rejoice in her voyage.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“Sophie is a quietly luminous heroine, and readers will rejoice in her voyage.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
“Sophie is a quietly luminous heroine, and readers will rejoice in her voyage.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Sophie is a quietly luminous heroine, and readers will rejoice in her voyage."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“Sophie is a quietly luminous heroine, and readers will rejoice in her voyage.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061972522
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
345,983
Lexile:
830L (what's this?)
File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Wanderer

Chapter One

The Sea

The sea, the sea, the sea. It rolled and rolled and called to me. Come in, it said, come in.

And in I went, floating, rolling, splashing, swimming, and the sea called, Come out, come out, and further I went but always it swept me back to shore.

And still the sea called, Come out, come out, and in boats I went'in rowboats and dinghies and motorboats, and after I learned to sail, I flew over the water, with only the sounds of the wind and the water and the birds, all of them calling, Sail on, sail on.

And what I wanted to do was go on and on, across the sea, alone with the water and the wind and the birds, but some said I was too young and the sea was a dangerous temptress, and at night I dreamed a terrible dream. A wall of water, towering, black, crept up behind me and hovered over me and then down, down it came, but always I awoke before the water covered me, and always I felt as if I were floating when I woke up.

Chapter Two

Three Sides

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. He says I am either in dreamland or earthland or mule-land, and if I ever get the three together, I'll be all set, though I wonder where I will be then. If I'm not in dreamland or earthland or mule-land, where will I be?

My father says my logical side is most like him, and the dreamy side most like my mother, which isn't entirely fair, I don't think. Myfather likes to think of himself as a logical man, but he is the one who pores over pictures of exotic lands and says things like "We should go on a safari!" and "We should zip through the air in a hot-air balloon!"

And although my mother is a weaver and spins silky cloths and wears flowing dresses, she is the one who gives me sailing textbooks and makes me study water safety and weather prediction and says things like "Yes, Sophie, I taught you to sail, but that doesn't mean I like the idea of you being out there alone on the water. I want you to stay home. Here. With me. Safe."

My father says he doesn't know who my hardheaded mule side resembles. He says mules don't run in the family.

I am thirteen, and I am going to sail across the ocean. Although I would like to go alone -- alone! alone! flying over the water! -- I'm not. My mule-self begged a place aboard a forty-five-foot sailboat with a motley crew: three uncles and two cousins. The uncles -- Stew, Mo, and Dock -- are my mother's brothers, and she told them, "If the slightest harm comes to my Sophie, I'll string you all up by your toes."

She isn't worried (although maybe she should be) about the influence of my cousin Brian -- quiet, studious, serious Brian -- but she frets over the bad habits I might learn from my other cousin, Cody. Cody is loud, impulsive, and charming in a way my mother does not trust. "He's too charming," she says, "in a dangerous sort of way."

My mother isn't the only person who is not thrilled for me to take this trip. My uncles Stew and Mo tried their best to talk me out of it. "It's going to be a bunch of us guys, doing guy things, and it wouldn't be a very pleasant place for a girl," and "Wouldn't you rather stay home, Sophie, where you could have a shower every day?" and "It's a lot of hard work," and yakkety-yak they went. But I was determined to go, and my mule-self kicked in, spouting a slew of sailing and weather terms, battering them over the head with all the things I'd learned in my sailing books, and with some things I'd made up, for good measure.

Uncle Dock -- the good uncle, I call him, because he's the one who doesn't see any harm in my coming -- said, "Heck, she knows more about boats than Brian and Cody put together," and so they caved in.

There are two other reasons my mother has not tied me to my bed and refused to let me go. The first is that Uncle Dock gave her an extensive list of the safety provisions aboard the boat, which include a satellite navigator, the Global Positioning System. The second reason, not a very logical one, but one that somehow comforts my mother, is that Bompie is on the other side of the ocean. We will end up in Bompie's arms, and she wishes she could join us just for that moment.

Bompie is my grandfather -- my mother's father, and also Uncle Dock, Stew, and Mo's father -- and he lived with my parents for many years. He is like a third parent and I love him because he is so like me. He is a man of three sides, like me, and he knows what I am thinking without my having to say it. He is a sweet man with a honey tongue and he is a teller of tales.

At the age of seventy-two, Bompie decided to go home. I thought he was already in his home, but what he meant by home was the place where he was born, and that place was "the rolling green hills of England."

My father was wrong about mules not running in the family. When Bompie decided to return to England, nothing was going to stop him. He made up his mind and that was that, and off he went.

Bye-bye, Bompie.

The Wanderer. Copyright © by Sharon Creech. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Meet the Author

Sharon Creech has written twenty books for young people and is published in over twenty languages. Her books have received awards in both the U.S. and abroad, including the Newbery Medal for Walk Two Moons, the Newbery Honor for The Wanderer, and Great Britain’s Carnegie Medal for Ruby Holler.

Before beginning her writing career, Sharon Creech taught English for fifteen years in England and Switzerland. She and her husband now live in Maine, “lured there by our grandchildren,” Creech says. “Moo was inspired by our mutual love of Maine and by our granddaughter’s involvement in a local 4-H program. We have all been enchanted with the charms of cows.”


David Diaz has illustrated numerous award-winning books for children, including smoky night by Eve Bunting, for which he was awarded the Caldecott Medal; The Wanderer by Sharon Creech, which received a Newbery Honor; and Me, Frida by Amy Novesky, a Pura Belpré Honor Award winner. Mr. Diaz lives in Southern California.

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Brief Biography

Hometown:
Pennington, New Jersey
Date of Birth:
July 29, 1945
Place of Birth:
Cleveland, Ohio
Education:
B.A., Hiram College, 1967; M.A., George Mason University, 1978

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