Saturday, November 17, 2012

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Title: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: May 2010 
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel
GoodReads Summary: Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself. 
What I Think: Amy and Roger's story wasn't as wild and carefree as I had guessed from the cover. It's actually fairly serious book since Amy is navigating her feelings about her father's death while on this cross-country trip. There are definitely light-hearted moments, but it's really about Amy being able to take a step back or out of her life and to learn what it's like to be with someone who doesn't know her and doesn't know how she has changed. As she travels with Roger, she starts to see how she has changed and the person she has become compared to the person she was. And Roger changes, too. He doesn't expect to learn so much about himself, but in getting to know Amy, it's as if Roger recognizes who he is and who he wants to be as well. This book really ended up being more about self-discovery and listening to your heart and believing in yourself than I ever expected!
Read Together: Grades 9 - 12 
Read Alone: Grades 9 - 12 
Read With: From What I Remember... by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas, Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde, The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner, If I Stay by Gayle Forman  
Snatch of Text:  
"He smiled at me, and I felt the impulse to smile back. I didn't, but the feeling was there, for the first time in months." (p. 37)

"He pulled out of the parking lot with a screech of tires and sped out into the intersection, throwing me back against the seat, causing Roger to slam against the passenger-side window, and prompting a cacophony of honking from all around us.
I felt myself begin to panic, and my stomach started to churn. I closed my eyes and tried to breathe, tried to block out the memory of a screech of tires and the terrible scraping metal sound, the feeling that i no longer had control of the car, the sickening spinning sensation and they way that time had seemed to slow down." (p. 166)
Mentor Text For: Characterization, Making Inferences, Asking Questions, Description, Personal Narrative
Writing Prompts: Describe about a time in your life when that you remember vividly - a time in your life when something significant happened that you will never forget. 
Topics Covered: Family, Grief, Friendship, Love, Independence, Rebellion, Making Decisions, Responsibility
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