My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath.
Schwartz & Wade Books/Random House: NY, 2008.

It's a summer of adventure for 12 year old Jane and her family and friends. As if it's not enough of an adventure living on the beach in their small Massachusetts town, Jane experiences a lone hot air balloon ride in an attempt to save her soul, Sunday afternoons with her friend and preacher looking to optimize their spiritual energy, babysitting a hoard of Gourd children as penance, excursions and dinners getting to know her mother's ex-boyfriends who have appeared all at once this summer, saving her brothers from an ill-advised boating attempt, and a close call-of-a-kidnapping. In her spare moments, she finds some time to enjoy her surroundings, calming and replenishing herself. She may feel like she is blundering through the summer, but she does a lot of good without fully realizing it.

As in Everything on a Waffle, there are some quirky interesting details, like Jane's mother (Felicity) being a Pulitzer prize winning poet, and startling clear-sighted moments, like there being millions of days within one day because everyone lives that day differently.

Jane's family lives a different sort of life than most, owing to her mother's outlook on life. Felicity's is a simple life - living in an old cottage on the beach, gathering wild fruits, clams and wild grasses to supplement their meager fair, treating others with kindness and giving them the benefit of the doubt. This may be a part of why Jane tries so hard to be good.

Jane's friend Ginny is a kindred spirit, though struggling through her own troubles this summer. She also finds a treasure in an old friend of her mom's, the grandfatherly Anton Fordyce. They share a much needed restful afternoon in the midst of Jane's chaotic summer. Another old friend is set to open up a whole new world of adventures.

related-brothers and sisters, single parent families, summer, beaches, babysitters, interpersonal relations, friendship
RL=5th and up

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