Author: Lynne Rae Perkins
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's
Age: Juv 10+
This book was recommended to me by a fellow school librarian. It's not the type of story I typically read but I still enjoyed it.
Ry is on his way to summer camp when things start to go wrong. His family just moved to Waupatoneka, Wisconsin. But that same summer Ry's parents went off on a cruise to the Caribbean, sent him to camp across the country, and his grandpa Lloyd stayed home with their 2 dogs Peg & Olie. Somewhere in Montana Ry's train breaks down so he decides to call his grandpa to tell him. After not getting a signal Ry exits the train (against the advice of the conductor) to try & make the call. The next thing he knows the train is fixed and rolling away without him.
Ry being the young & resourceful kid he is starts walking. he eventually makes it to the town of New Peche where he meets a man named Del KerHodie. Del is an older guy who owns a tree trimming business and likes to work on cars. With only a few dollars to his name, no belongings except his dead cell phone, and only one show Ry gets taken in by Del. After trying to contact his house where grandpa is & his parents on an island in the Atlantic somewhere with no luck Ry begins to worry-- and for good reason.
Del decides to help Ry by driving him back to Wisconsin to check on his unreachable grandpa and the dogs. The pair encounter a few obstacles along the way. Once they get to Ry's house there's no sign of grandpa or the dogs. Ry's parents have also been calling the house worried about not hearing from anyone. With Del's encouragement the pair then decide their best option is to go down to the Caribbean and find Ry's parents with the help of a few friends along the way.
In between the saga across the world with Del & Ry we learn that Ry's parents have lost their cell phone, and are island hopping but having a great time. We also find out that Lloyd, Ry's grandpa, took the dogs for a walk and got hurt. He ended up in the hospital, then being taken care of by the neighbor and her twin sister. The dogs abandoned him after getting stuck in the woods, and decide to go on a Homeward Bound journey in the wrong direction.
In the meantime Del & Ry are sailing the high seas in the Caribbean islands looking for his parents. Things go south for Ry when Del gets hurt & he must take the boat the rest of the way by himself. Hopefully he knows how to swim! Will Ry fall off the face of the earth? Or will it be a happy ending for everyone?
Likes: The story itself moves very quickly, it's less than 400 pages in total including the pictures & part breaks.
All of the characters in this book are likable, there are no bad guys. Del seems to know somewhere from everywhere & get s along with anyone they meet.
In between the chapters about the humans we get to see funny little comics about the dog's trying to find their way home.
The story is told from the perspectives of the dogs, Del & Ry, Lloyd, & Ry's parents. This makes the story stay in sync but also move along at a good pace.
When we don;t see pictures of the dog's we get to see pictures of Ry, sailing, the car him & Del travel in, etc. (I couldn't find any online so you have to use your imagination or read the book!)
Nothing about this book was negative despite all of the awful things that happen & I thought that was admirable.