by Autumn Cornwell
Publishing Information: Feiwel and Friends: New York, 2007
ISBN: 9780312367923 / 0739363972 (Audio)
Pages: 360 p.
Ages: 12 & Up
Sixteen-year-old Vassar Spore's detailed plans for the next twenty years of her life are derailed when her bohemian grandmother insists that she join her in Southeast Asia for the summer, but as she writes a novel about her experiences, Vassar discovers new possibilities.
How could her parents have permitted this? Valedictorian hopeful Vassar Spore has her summer all planned out, devoted to furthering her life plan-to become class valedictorian and win a Pulitzer Prize. Well, it has something to do with what Vassar overhears and comes to call “The Big Secret”. Will she solve the mystery before she's completely undone by Grandma's Gerd’s LIM (Live in the moment) philosophy of life? She finds herself hiking through jungles with her bohemian artist grandma and an Asian cowboy chaperone, battling food poisoning, venom-carrying critters and primitive tribes. As the trio trek through cities and the lush and humid jungles of Cambodia and Laos, Grandma Gerd offers cryptic hints about the mysterious family secret.
|Subject Headings & Major Themes:
Adventures and adventurers
Awards & Reviews:
Booklist¸ August 1, 2007, p. 63
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2007
Publishers Weekly, September 3, 2007, p. 60
School Library Journal, November 1, 2007, p.118 (Starred Review)
VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates, October 1, 2007
- What would you pack in a suitcase to take to Southeast Asia?
- Create a collage of things you might see or what would remind you of Southeast Asia.
- Compare and contrast our life and culture with that of Southeast Asia.
- Make up a list of your own personal goals.
- Plot how many frequent flyer miles Vassar accumulated?
Curriculum Tie-ins :
Author’s website: http://www.autumncornwell.com
Interview with Autumn Cornwell: http://classof2k7.livejournal.com/98392.html
"The Best Sights in South East Asia," Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/article3284039.ece
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About the Author:
A travel junkie, Autumn has explored twenty-two countries and counting. She has spent the last couple of summers working with refugees in Burma Thailand and Laos. Southeast Asia remains close to her heart since her days as a missionary kid in New Papua - where she ate her weight in guavas and mingled with reformed headhunters and cannibals.
After spending the rest of her childhood in Washington State, Autumn moved to Southern California for college and refused to leave. She lives in Los Feliz, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, with her husband J.C. who works in visual effects in Imageworks. With his assistance, she’s produced her biggest project to date: son Dexter, born August, 2006-- who thankfully doesn’t require much editing. (taken from the author's website)