"At once poignant, funny, and wise, this book gives new meaning to the phrase, 'The best journeys never end.'"
When his mother decides on a whim to be a missionary in Africa and drags his
unwilling father with her, Henry is left in the care of his Aunts Magnolia and
Pigg. Henry's sure they dislike him and he's trying to keep his distance,
but that becomes more difficult when Mag decides they should take a
destination-less road trip. Mag, convalescing from an illness that makes her
look like death, is downright crabby. Pigg, tense from driving, is becoming more
assertive and less willing to submit to Mag's whims. And while they poke each
other literally Henry is finding it hard to keep his resolution.
They go to Virginia Beach (it's too hot); try camping in the Everglades (Henry accidentally spends four days floating in a swamp); visit their daddy, Henry's granddaddy (Henry's never met him!); and lose Pigg to love in Oklahoma (what would the radio psychologist Daly Kramer say?) before they finally receive word that Henry's parents are coming back and will meet them in Tulsa to finish the trip with Mag and Henry. But his parents are bickering and Henry is in despair until he surrenders to the road and decides to let whatever happens happen, but to be there in it all.
Complete with her signature cast of eccentric characters, absurd situations, and heartfelt moments, Polly Horvath writes an on-the-road epic like no other!
Aunt Magnolia's Idea
Fortunately, as the days went on,
platelet test showed that she was on the rebound and her
body had stopped all its indiscriminate destruction. We
began to find her lying on the couch with a steely look of
speculation in her eye. I, for one, did not like it and I
could tell it was making Aunt Pigg nervous. It shifted the
dynamics in the house. Instead of Aunt Pigg and Aunt
Magnolia wary of me, suddenly it was me and Aunt Pigg
wary of Aunt Magnolia. Aunt Pigg began to come up to
me when I got home from school and say things conspiratorially
like, "She's doing it again. She's thinking.
is she thinking about?"
We could not tell what Aunt Magnolia was thinking about. Although she was weak, it was apparent that her strength was returning. Her bruises were disappearing. Her gums had stopped bleeding. But she had a frightening glint in her eye, as if some angry thought was energizing her and feeding ...
Polly Horvath has been writing books since she was eight. She grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She went to college in Toronto and lived in New York and Montreal before settling on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, with her husband Arnie and her daughters, Emily and Rebecca. She has published many books for children which have been translated into many languages including, German, French, Thai, Japanese, Danish and Italian and she has won many awards including the National Book Award and the Newbery Honor.
If you liked The Vacation, try these:
Pepper's fourteenth birthday is a momentous one.
It's the day he's supposed to die.
Everyone seems resigned to iteven Pepper, although he would much prefer to live. But can you sidestep Fate? Jump sideways into a different life?
Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, this is a story as breezy and carefree as a summer day. 2005 National Book Award Winner. Ages 8-12.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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