As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth
By Lynne Ray Perkins
Published by Greenwillow Books
Copyright © 2010
Summer vacation has begun and Ry is on his way to an archaeological camp, his parents are on their way to the Caribbean, and his Grandfather is staying back at their new house in their new town to watch their two dogs. Oh, but “the best laid plans of mice and men…” These plans go dreadfully awry when Ry’s train leaves without him and series of misadventures befall him and the rest of his family seemingly simultaneously. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, Ry meets up with a man named Del in Montana. Del is a bit of Renaissance man, and he has to be one of the nicest, quirkiest, and stubborn men Ry will ever meet. Del is going to help Ry get home and find his parents.
The amount of problems this family runs into in such a short stretch is pretty unbelievable, but I guess the unbelievable makes the best stories. Initially the way that Ry starts out his adventure, in the middle of nowhere Montana, is the hardest to conceive. You read it and say there is no way anyone is that stupid, and then you remember that it is a teen with a cell phone and you begin to wonder why you haven’t heard of it in real life already. (No I’m not going to tell you anymore about what happened.)
Perkins has written an entertaining book showcasing among other topics our dependence on technology, the kindness of strangers, and the need for a little humility to make love work. Any reader that can let go of their inhibitions of the seemingly impossible in reality fiction will really enjoy this story of unexpected adventure, friendship, and personal growth. Great for readers age 12 and up.