Title: Travels with My Family
Author: Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel
Major Themes: Maine, Florida, Georgia, British Columbia, California, Arizona, Mexico, New Mexico
Synopsis: When you are part of a family that takes vacations in unusual places, you can expect to have many adventures!
Travels with My Family is an unusual book, and a fun one! I really enjoyed reading it to my 6-year-old. It’s one of those books, though, that is best appreciated by adults. She enjoyed the story, but I understood all the nuances. There is a lot more to this book than just the basic story.
This story is narrated by a little boy whose parents take him and his little brother, who is also unnamed, on the most unusual vacations in the world. This is a family that does not stick to the beaten path! Hotels and miniature golf? Disneyland? No way! Not even Carlsbad Caverns. This family goes to places no other tourists visit! They have one adventure after another.
When they went to Maine, they found themselves in the middle of a hurricane. They went to Georgia and nearly got washed away in a riptide. They experienced alligators at close range, a sand storm, and a revolution in Mexico. The boys were exasperated with their parents—why couldn’t they do what all the other tourists did? But—they ended up enjoying most of their adventures! And the stories they could tell….
I asked my daughter what she thought of Travels with My Family. Her face lit up as she enthusiastically answered, “I loved it!” She went on to tell me that she wishes the authors would write a sequel. I liked the descriptions of so many different locations. We found them on a map, so it was a good way to introduce some basic geography.
WARNING: Chapter 1: “Maybe he’d been a polar bear in a previous life.” Chapter 3: “We rose out of the water, ever so slightly—I swear we did.” Chapter 4: “blasted ravens” twice, “confounded bird” twice. Chapter 9: “oh my God”.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12