I love Polly Horvath's work and think this one is her strongest to date. Eccentric characters, great good humor, incredible turns of events. But most of all what I admire is her ability to turn phrases, so to speak. One of the drawbacks about listening to audio as you are driving through mountain passes is that there is no time to jot down the phrases and sentences and conversations that I want to highlight and remember and read again. I know I will track down my copy at the office next week so I can do just that.
Now for the story. In My One Hundred Adventures (Schwartz and Wade, 2008), Jane hopes that the summer will bring her lots of adventure, 100 of them, if possible. And, it might just be possible. When she accompanies Nellie, the preacher, Jane ends up in a hot air balloon dropping bibles. Unfortunately, one might have possibly injured one of the Gourd children. Now she has to spend this summer babysitting this brood. She is joined, though, by her best friend, Ginny. Together, the two spend a summer filled with the mundane and the magical. Horvath is a storyteller extraordinaire. The audiobook version of this novel does it justice. The narrator captures Jane's naivete and growing wisdom, her disbelief and her hope.