Megan is being forced by her parents to spend the summer in the isolation of the Vermont woods with her artsy parents and older sister. With no cable TV, no cell phone, and no connection with her best friend, Lucy, Megan begins to pout and sabotage the whole experience. This is a girl who has lived a fairly shallow, self-centered life. When Megan is forced to accompany her sister and sister’s boyfriend for a hike, sibling fighting reigns supreme and Megan runs off and quickly becomes lost with her dog, Arp, in the mountains of the Appalachian trail. After her initial panic, she decides to hike the trail to Massachusetts to see her friend Lucy whose mother has Hodgkin's disease. Told in the first person, the plot moves quickly from Megan stuck in the ME stage to her final realization that she is a part of a wonderful world but perhaps not the center of it. As she hikes a seemingly short 30 miles, the days and nights where she faces her own inexperience, bullies, rain, fears, and physical discomforts on the trail become opportunities for Megan to see herself for the way she has been and to decide how she wants to be in the future. The character of Megan rings true and lends strength to this story that is not only realistic but hopeful for all children of this age. With reminders of My Side of the Mountain, this hilarious journey of an eleven year old city girl and her dog on the Appalachian trail will have the reader laughing and cheering for Megan who makes, not only a physical journey, but an emotional one as well. Recommended for ages 10-13. 256 pages
Contributed by Christine Rayl, Librarian.
What to read when a girl is too young for Twilight and other YA chick lit? This is novel is a great find! Excellent for the tween set grades 4-7. Megan is stuck in Vermont MILES from civilization with her artsy back-to-the-earth parents and annoying older sister without t.v., Internet, or cell phones. They are supposed to be getting in touch with nature and having artistic time each morning, but Megan just misses civilization and her best friend Lucy. She longs for New York city and crowds.
After getting lost on the Appalacian Trail with only her mother's fluffy little dog Arp for company, city girl Megan decides she might as well hike into the next state and try to find Lucy. After spending several nights in the woods and putting up with hunger, fear, and the cold, Megan decides maybe nature isn't so bad after all.
Megan is sarcastic and fun and not at all a woodsy girl or the outdoor type which is what makes the book humorous. Tween girls will like this one. Not to be missed.
Highly, highly recommended grades 4-7.
Recommended by Pamela Thompson, Library Media Specialist
Visit her ya novel blog for this and other reviews at http://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com/