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My One Hundred Adventures Hardcover – September 9, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Series: My One Hundred Adventures
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade; First Edition edition (September 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375845828
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375845826
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,071,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 4–7—This is Horvath's most luminescent, beautifully written novel yet. Jane Fielding lives what seems to be an idyllic life with her poet mother and three younger siblings in a house on the beach in coastal Massachusetts, where they gather mussels, pick berries to eat, and lay in the warm tidal pools. But at 12, Jane no longer wants every summer to be exactly the same. She prays for adventures, 100 of them, and gets 14, each of which gives her insights into understanding herself. She delivers Bibles from a hijacked hot-air balloon, is tricked into babysitting for the five messy Gourd children, is fleeced by a fortune-teller, and meets several men who could be her father. Horvath's latest offering certainly has some eccentric, unforgettable characters and some dark humor and irony. Yet the author has significantly mellowed in this quieter work, which will have wider kid-appeal. Indeed, it is Jane's honest, clear voice—that of a young girl on the natural cusp of separating from her family—that drives the story and engages readers. The author is a gifted writer, a word alchemist. She has an eye for exposing the miraculous in the mundane. The book is filled with pithy observations and memorable passages that invite immediate rereading and admiration. This is Horvath at the top of her game, and that's saying something.—Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Jane, 12, longs for adventures, maybe a hundred of them. Not too much happens at the beach where she lives with her younger siblings and  her mother, a poet with a fondness for putting up jam. As the summer slips by, adventures do find Jane—but they come with people attached. Her newfound relationship with preacher Nellie leads to a trip in a hot-air balloon and a foray into the world of healings and psychic revelations. Mrs. Parks’ thrombosis (or is it bursitis?) and a desire to get to California result in an all-night automobile ride that ends because Mrs. Parks’ bottom gets sore. And throughout the summer there’s a procession of possible fathers: the free spirit, the poet, the Santa look-alike, the man in a suit who gets tossed in the ocean by a whale. With writing as foamy as waves, as gritty as sand, or as deep as the sea, this book may startle readers with the freedom given the heroine—independence that allows her to experience, think about, and come to some hard-won conclusions about life. Sometimes Jane’s duped, sometimes she’s played; but if hope fades, it returns, and adventure still beckons. Unconventionality is Horvath’s stock in trade, but here the high quirkiness quotient rests easily against Jane’s inner story with its honest, childlike core. Grades 4-6. --Ilene Cooper

Customer Reviews

Surprises await in every chapter, making the reader want to quickly turn to the next page.
Ami Hassler
For example, in this book, Jane's poet-mother is evidently doing what she can to find and put food on the table and there is mention of a large bag of rice.
Monica Edinger
I know that people who love detail will enjoy this book, and it is wonderfully written, as well.
TeensReadToo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 62 people found the following review helpful By BkWyrm on December 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have been a librarian for many, many years, and I can assure you that not one of my students would like this book! It is the kind of book that cerebral intellectuals would have you believe is "wonderful." Yes, there are a few interesting descriptions, and Jane's voice does have some honesty, but the situations she runs into seem very contrived, and her voice is more like an adult recalling a childhood summer than a child's thoughts in "real time." The "quirky" characters are shallow, self-absorbed, and often mean-spirited. Jane lapses into bouts of poetic reverie in between wondering if the next male vagrant she sees is her daddy or the father of one of her siblings.(Jane is not sure whether her sister and two brothers have the same father or different ones.)Jane cannot help her mother with her younger siblings, because Jane is black-mailed into babysitting a hoard of greasy children, while the children's mother takes on a waitressing job. Jane has to take them to the beach and wander through the neighborhood, because it is summertime and the children's father, the school's janitor, is drunk and violent back at their trailer home. Jane's mother, a poet who once won a Pulitzer (right!), never asks where Jane is all day, and no one apparently gets sunburned. Their female pastor ropes Jane into helping hand out free Bibles on Sundays, but the pastor is too wrapped up in herself and drags Jane to a roadside fortune teller, and later a "channeler," trying to validate whether she has the power to heal and is destined for "great" things. All of this is told with somber sincerity, as Jane ponders LIFE. This book is like a movie that doesn't know whether it is a comedy or a drama, and the elements jar with one another. A few adults may think this is high art, but for kids, it will be a snoozer-rama!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By aliceknd on January 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
I thought this was meant to be a children's book, though I think it might be a bit too mature to be one. The subject matter is quite serious at times (including the unknown paternity of 4 siblings and their single mother who seems to be in love with all of them), though the "adventures" are mostly amusing.

I quite enjoyed it though. It was very entertaining.... a fun read.

Age Recommendation: 12 and up
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on January 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Clever, lovely, and insightfully sharp, 12-year-old Jane is on a mission for one hundred adventures, and she is ready for them.

Her home is a permanent beach house that has doors that are always wide open, no matter the time of day or night or weather, and is delightful and homey. Jane loves her home and her family - her hopeless romantic mother and her three brothers and sisters.

But then a slew of possible fathers comes roaming around the beach, there's the coincidence of a dropped Bible on a baby's head, a gullible mother, and the question that maybe Nellie Phipps isn't really in the right mind as pastor and a responsible adult.

I loved this book. It is a slow paced one, but the tempo of this novel makes you savor it, and paints a detailed picture of one incredibly sharp girl.

MY ONE HUNDRED ADVENTURES is a charming read, and is very touching and endearing. Readers will identify with Jane, who longs for adventure and freedom, and her free-willed spirit and kind nature. Polly Horvath's style brings out the characters, such as the adults, painfully real, but somehow there is always this wishful feeling in her style, and I always felt as if there was maybe, just maybe, a touch of magic in her words.

I recommend this book for people who like simple stories about life and growing out of your innocence and into becoming a more responsible person. I know that people who love detail will enjoy this book, and it is wonderfully written, as well. But watch out - this tale is a little tricky, and there may be a few big words out there.

Reviewed by: Bailey - The Class
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ami Hassler on September 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
My One Hundred Adventures is a cross between Jim Lynch's The Highest Tide and Joan Bauer's Hope Was Here. Surprises await in every chapter, making the reader want to quickly turn to the next page. By the same token, Horvath is so in-tune with her 12-year-old protagonist and the daily music of her summer days in a small Massachusetts beach town, that I found I also wanted to stop and read passages over and over again.

Jane is ready for adventure. She has spent all her years with her three younger siblings and her single mom in a wonderfully cozy house by the sea, but she is aching for something more. She's ready to leap into the "know-not-what" this summer. And leap she does with a first time solo ride in a hot-air balloon, a trip to the fair with her possible father, an almost road trip to California with an elderly neighbor, and a new friendship with Nellie, preacher and hopeful healer. Just by summoning a little positive energy and opening her front door, Jane's dreams for 100 adventures begin to come true.

For additional comments about this novel and other reviews, please visit my site.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Monica Edinger on September 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What a lovely book. I became a Polly Horvath fan years ago with The Trolls and Everything on a Waffle. This new book has a similar Horvathian episodic style, exquisite prose, and her unique dry understated wit. Set in a Massachusetts coastal town, 12 year-old Jane lives with her poet mother and younger siblings on the beach. In true Horvath fashion, eccentric characters populate the novel as do eccentric experiences -- delivering Bibles by balloon, babysitting issues, and other intimate adventures. There are a number of connecting threads (family, fathers, friendship, and more) moving through the story, all nicely and satisfyingly resolved for our heroine Jane by the end.

Horvath always has a dry, deadpan humorous style that I've always loved. For example, in this book, Jane's poet-mother is evidently doing what she can to find and put food on the table and there is mention of a large bag of rice. Toward the end of the book Jane, her mother, and a friend are mourning the death of another character:

We don't feel much like having a barbecue now. We sit around and eat a little rice.

(And again a few paragraphs later when someone stops by to discuss the funeral.)

"Of course we will be there. We will all be there," says my mother and then offers Mrs. Merriweather a little rice, but she cannot stay. She has other arrangements to make.

A book that lingers long after you are done with it. Completely charming.
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