The sea, the sea, the sea.
It rolled and rolled and called to me.
There are two types of readers in this world. There are people who read, and people who re-read. As a re-reader, I have to intentionally push myself to read new books because I would be completely content reading my list of twelve or so favorite books over and over (including, but not limited to Harry Potter, A Little Princess, Little Women, The Help, and the Ramona Quimby series). My re-read books are comforting, and a lot of times I’ve read them so often that I’ve practically memorized them.
The Wanderer is one of those re-read books. So whether you’re a re-reader or a try-new-books-er, I hope you’ll check it out!
For Sophie, taking a transatlantic voyage on her Uncle Dock’s ship The Wanderer isn’t even in question. She feels like she is meant to go on the voyage with her lazy Uncle Mo and a-little-too-charming cousin Cody, uber-organized Uncle Stew and cousin Brian, and Uncle Dock (oh Rosalie!). On board, they have to deal with living in a tiny constantly rocking space, constantly damp clothes, and teaching each other a new skill.
This is actually juvenile fiction, so it’s a really fast read, but it has a lot of depth that most children’s books lack. On the surface, it’s a fun summer story with sailing incorporated into it. It’s an engaging story if you just read it straight through like that, but what makes this book great is the underlying themes. We find out early that Sophie is adopted, but when people ask about it, she acts oddly distant. But how does she know her grandfather’s stories? And you can sense throughout the book that there is something more going on with Sophie’s fascination with the sea. Also, three’s crop up a lot in this book: “the sea” is repeated three times, Sophie is one of three cousins, there are three uncles, and there are three sides to Sophie (mulish, down to earth, and dreamy). That’s kind of a random observation, but it shows how Sharon Creech worked hard to craft a many-layered story. Whether you try to read (or re-read (: ) into it a lot, or just enjoy it at face value, The Wanderer is a favorite that I believe everyone should read at least once.
Recommended to people who love: short and sweet books, sailing adventure stories, stories told through journal entries, “thinking” books, wrapped-up-endings.
That’s a wrap!
Have a good week!