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The Wanderer Hardcover – March 22, 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews

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Realistic fiction for tweens
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"I am not always such a dreamy girl, listening to the sea calling me. My father calls me Three-sided Sophie: one side is dreamy and romantic; one is logical and down-to-earth; and the third side is hardheaded and impulsive."

Thirteen-year-old Sophie, skipping between "dreamland or earthland or muleland," hears the sea calling her. Much to the concern of her adopted parents, she decides to join her uncles and male cousins on a sailing voyage from Connecticut across the Atlantic to England (and her grandfather Bompie) on a 45-foot sailboat. Not only does she want to make the trip, she feels she has to.

This perilous cross-Atlantic journey will make young readers feel the wind in their hair and the salt spray on their face. Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech (Walk Two Moons) describes the sailing experience with astonishing precision--from the smell of the sea to the intricate workings of The Wanderer itself.

Along the way, Sophie proves her bravery and competence to the rather grumpy all-male crew; intrigues and captivates her cousin Cody with her beautiful, odd stories of Bompie that always somehow end in underwater disaster and apple pie; and spills her heart into a daily journal. Readers get another angle on her, too, as Cody keeps a log that alternates with hers. He grows to know, and like, and wonder about, his new cousin Sophie along with the reader, and as her mysterious past reveals itself bit by bit, we are all right there on the edge of our seats, ready for the boom to crash over to the other side.

Sophie's adventures take her not only straight into perilous waves higher than buildings, but deep into her hidden past. This profound, suspenseful novel will pull you into its swift current and barely let you surface for breath. (Ages 9 to 13) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

Like Creech's Walk Two Moons and Chasing Redbird, this intimate novel poetically connects journey with self-discovery. When 13-year-old Sophie learns that her three uncles and two male cousins plan to sail across the Atlantic to visit the uncles' father, Bompie, in England, she begs to go along. Despite her mother's protests and the men's misgivings, Sophie joins the "motley" crew of the 45-foot The Wanderer and soon proves herself a worthy sailor. The novel unfolds through travel logs, predominantly penned by Sophie (with intermittent musings from her clownish cousin, Cody) that trace each leg of the eventful voyage; each opens with a handsome woodblock-like print by Diaz (Smoky Night). The teens' insightful observations reveal the frailties of both the boat and its six passengers, whose fears and regrets anchor them down. Sophie, who was adopted just three years ago, proves the most complicated and mysterious of all the characters; her ambivalent feelings about the sea ("The sea, the sea, the sea. It rolled and rolled and called to me... but some said I was too young and the sea was a dangerous temptress...") correlate to a repressed memory of a tragic accident. Stories Sophie tells about Bompie, as well as clever throwaway bits (such as the brothers' given names: Ulysses, Jonah and Moses), temper the novel's more serious undercurrents. Creech once again captures the ebb and flow of a vulnerable teen's emotional life, in this enticing blend of adventure and reflection. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Series: Newbery Honor Book
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (March 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060277300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060277307
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,883,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Denny on July 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Sharon Creech has a special ability to touch the hearts of young girls. This is a story in which she uses several writing techniques to tell a poignant and powerful story of one young girl searching for her place in the world, and coming to terms with her difficult past. The story is particularly effective in the use of dual diaries, written by Sophie and her cousin Cody, which give the reader two revealing perspectives on the past and the present. Also delightful was the writing technique of Sophie's stories - told with a fable-like eloquence - of her 'memories' of a beloved grandfather. As an adult, I had serious questions aout the wisdom of the decisions made by the adults in the book (allowing Sophie to undertake the cross-Atlantic sail in the first place, not dealing with Sophie's inability to understand and accept her history)but the story is one that speaks well to the imagination and spirit of adventure of young girls. The Wanderer is an excellent choice for Mother/Daughter groups, with many opportunities for discussion on the craft of writing, and the importance of finding one's place in the spectrum of family and the world.
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A Kid's Review on December 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Wanderer
In this book there is two main characters; Sophie and Cody. They are cousins but of different gene pools. Sophie was adopted when she was little. She's what you would call a three sided person. One side is dreamy and romantic, another side is logical and down to earth, and the other side is hard headed and impulsive. Cody, on the other hand, is very frivolous. He always was fooling around and didn't take things seriously.
Sophie was always dreaming of sailing across the ocean. When her Uncle Dock (Sophie's favorite) told her that she could go with him on a journey across the ocean to see his father, Bompie, Sophie plead to her parents. Her mother decided to let her go knowing she would be safe. When Sophie set off, she didn't know what she was dealing with. On her trip everybody had to teach the crew something. Sophie told stories that she heard from Bompie when she was little. Cody, the knuckle head, showed juggling. Everybody else (Sophie's Uncles and other cousins) taught sailing. But nobody knew about the fierce storm ahead.
I find it very unique that Sharon Creech writes the book from a different point of view. She had you read from Sophie's and Cody's journals. Sometimes things are repeated but I like her style because it's different. I would recommend this book to anybody. It is exciting and you'll never want to put it down. I usually don't like these kind of books but this was great.
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Format: Hardcover
A Young girl becomes enthralled with the sea.. a trip with her relatives to go see her grandfather. Stories they don't think she could ever know about him - she does. Yet Her own story she doesn't know - and the adults seem to be reluctant to tell it. A trip they don't think that they will survive they do. Each with a story to tell.
The book told from journal entries by two of the main characters is an effective way to tell it. You get to see what each is feeling - what they think the others are feeling... How they react to what each one does - the different points of view of the same events.
The big storm they survive through...
The lost loves discovered and then lost again?
The secrets of the family revealed and solutions found.
This book I would put at the top of the reading pile by the side of my bed. Finish what you are reading and be sure to start this one next. I've read it twice in the past couple of days to make sure I caught all the details... All the thoughts and all the feelings.
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A Kid's Review on October 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Report on The Wanderer By: Sharon Creech
Do you dare to sail across the ocean? Sophie,her three uncles, and two cousins sail across the ocean on a sailboat to Ireland seeking their grandfather, Bompie. Along the way they stop at cool places, where they explore and discover. They also meet neat people who tell them incredible stories about their lives or scary stories about the island they were on. And they find out things about each other they never new before,like what happened to Sophie's parents and that their uncle Dock wanted to be an artist before he went to college. I give The Wanderer five stars because The Wanderer is a great book and the writing style is very unique and neat. This book is set up as two dog logs Sophie and one of her cousins wrote on the sail boat. I think that the way the book is set up makes it more fun to read and more exciting. The Wanderer is my new favorite book!
Book Report By: Alyssa R.
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By momof4 on July 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book, with some mystery in it! Sophie is 13, and is going to England to visit Bompie, her grandfather, on a small boat, 'The Wanderer'. Accompanying her, are her 3 uncles, Mo, Stuart and Dock. Also, her 2 cousins, Cody and Brian. The book is Sophie and Cody's journal entries. I liked Cody's best, he was funny. There is one bad word in the book, one of the uncles, Stew, I think, says the Lord's name in vain, but that was the only objectionable part in the book. Sharon Creech wrote very well, and the journal entries are exactly like what 2 13 year olds would write. A very good book!
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