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As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth Hardcover – April 27, 2010
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From School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
Ry only intended to be off the train for a moment. He had a quick phone call to make to his grandfather, and then it was back on the train. The call went to the answering machine and the train took off --- without Ry. Now, lost somewhere in Montana, Ry is in trouble. His parents are off on a Caribbean sailing adventure, his grandfather has fallen in a hole and suffered a concussion, and Ry has no place to turn except an old driveway he happens upon. In that driveway is someone who turns out to be his salvation --- Del.
Del is a jack-of-all-trades who agrees to help Ry get back to his home in Wisconsin. Ry and Del pile into his old Jeep station wagon, and it's an instant road trip. Ry has no idea what has happened to his grandfather --- and neither does his grandfather, who has suffered amnesia --- and can only imagine what is happening with his parents. Del and Ry suffer minor setbacks on their road trip, namely hitchhiking with a lunatic, but eventually make it to Wisconsin and stumble upon Ry's worst nightmare. The answering machine reveals that Ry's parents are stuck in St. Jude as they await replacement passports, and his grandfather has no idea where he is and may be potentially hurt. Del declares that he and Ry will head to the Caribbean to find his parents, and that's that.
If you've ever been on a long road trip, you know that you eventually end up learning a lot about the people you travel with. Ry learns that Del has a soft spot for a mysterious Yulia, who happens to be on the way, and he has friends in all places. Friends with airplanes that can cross a small part of the ocean and land on some islands off the Florida coast.Read more ›
By time the story begins and Ry is once again reading the letter, a statistically improbable number of things have already begun to go wrong for him, too. The train transporting him from the Midwest to the now-nonexistent summer camp in Montana had been delayed in the middle of nowhere. When he accidentally found this last letter stuffed in his backpack, read it, and tried to immediately call his grandfather from the train, there were no bars of reception on his cell phone. Hearing that the train delay was going to be at least forty minutes, he'd stepped off the train and climbed a nearby hill to try and get some reception. Now, inexplicably, the train has suddenly departed -- with all his stuff -- before he can get back down the hill to it. His phone is already very low on power and even if the charger were not on the train, there is absolutely no sight of civilization -- other than silent train tracks -- from where he is sitting.
This would still not be that much of a problem (or a story) had his family not just moved to a new town where he knows nobody. This would still not be that much of a problem (or a story) had his grandfather -- who came to their new house to dog-sit and who is, just about at this moment, suffering a memory-scrambling concussion -- been available to answer the phone.Read more ›
The story is enlivened by the occasional illustration in comic book style. There is one tiny sub-plot, seen from the point of view of a pair of dogs, that is told only through drawings, and it's pretty funny.
I won't over-analyse the story here; other Amazon reviewers have talked about the novel with greater skill than I possess. I'll just say I LOVED THIS BOOK; recommended.
The dust jacket illustration is fantastic; appealing and dynamic and the little drawn-in plane and boat made me smile. Best cover design I've seen for ages.
It seemed like a good idea, getting off the train. The conductor said they would be stopped there for forty minutes. It wasn't going to take that long. He was being cautious, reasonable even. He had a plan. Fifteen-year-old Ry was well on his way to The Summer ArchaeoTrails program when he finally opened the last letter from the camp director and found out that camp had been cancelled. He decided to call his grandfather, who's house and dog sitting while Ry's parents are on a sailing vacation in the Caribbean. He figured his grandfather would know what he should do. Only Ry can't get any cell reception on the train out here in the middle of nowhere, Montana. So when a minor mechanical glitch forced an unscheduled stop, and Ry saw a hill where reception might be possible - well, like I said, it seemed like a good idea. And yet, here he is, alone, no backpack (it's still on the train), no one answering the phone back home and his cell battery slowly dying.
This inauspicious start launches the most improbable, fantastical summer of Ry's life. Stranded and alone, with no way to reach his parents or his grandfather (who, as it turns out, are all having troubles of their own), Ry begins an epic adventure ruled by the inevitable Murphy's Law. Ry is lucky enough to pick up an ally and traveling companion, Del, -a "ninja, cowboy fix-it-man" who believes nothing is impossible. Together, Ry and Del will face a host of obstacles as they answer the question, 'What lengths would you go to in order to get back to the people you love?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a horrible book. The author is too lazy to come up with plot that builds on actions and consequences. Read morePublished 2 months ago by E. Bailen
This is a really interesting novel, very well written. I read a lot, but for me, this book stood out. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Virginia
This book is terrible. The characters don't develop and the story is bland. There is no conflict in the story, and the whole side plot with the grandfather is utterly confusing. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Elizabeth W Boyles
To be honest, the book is okay, but there's no plot! Like seriously?! All that the main character, Ry, who was stranded by a train, does, is walk around trying to reach his parents... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Huaijin Yan
Started out well, then fell off (pun intended). I liked the beginning and was intrigued by the middle, but the ending became just too outrageous for me - it fell flat and I was... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Anna A. Stanford
This book was very detailed, had nice messages and was a great action survival story! I recommend it for people of many ages! I loved it!Published on October 20, 2013 by organic mommy