Jane and her family have moved to Canada ... but not for long. When her stepfather, Ned, is fired from his job as a high school French teacher (seems he doesn't speak French), the family packs up and Jane embarks on a series of new adventures. At first, she imagines her family as a gang of outlaws, riding on horseback in masks, robbing trains, and traveling all the way to Mexico. But the reality is different: Setting off by car, they visit the tribe of Native Americans with whom Ned once lived, head to Las Vegas in search of Ned's magician brother, and wind up spending the summer with his eccentric mother on her ranch out west. As Jane lives through it alldeveloping a crush on a ranch hand, reevaluating her relationship with Ned, watching her sister Maya's painful growing upshe sees her world, which used to be so safe and secure, shift in strange and inconvenient ways.
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"Starred Review. A dynamic montage of dark and light moments, this novel shows rather than tells Jane's changing moods, her ambivalent feelings about being uprooted, and her quiet observations of her unpredictable yet endearing family members. Ages 10-13." - Publishers Weekly
"The plot is slight, but the language and characters are delicious. Becca Battoe's youthful narration allows listeners to see everything from Jane's perspective, and her gift of timing and inflection produce many laugh-out-loud moments. A delightful story." - School Library Journal
"Many characters here are distinct, wonderfully idiosyncratic individuals, and Horvaths fine-tuned observations are conveyed with subtlety and precision. The open-ended conclusion seems to promise another sequel. Grades 5-8." - Booklist
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I grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. My father, John Horvath, was a C.I.A. agent until he was in his forties and married my mother, Betty Ferguson. After that he became a high school biology teacher. My mother wrote picture books, so I remember the excitement around the house about the New York Times special childrens book sections, Horn Book reviews, who was getting the Newbery and Caldecott that year. I also learned how to submit a manuscript properly. I taught myself to type when I was in the fifth grade so that I could send my manuscripts out looking professional. Todays children will think this is no big deal because they all learn to type the second they come out of the womb so they can use computers, but when I was growing up, there were no computers and typing was more of ...
Polly Horvath: hor-vath (second syllable rhymes with math)
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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