My One Hundred Adventures Book Poster Image

My One Hundred Adventures



Adults may enjoy this poetic nostalgia trip more.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main character and her family are warm and caring people, but few other adults behave well towards children.


A drunken man chokes a child and attempts to kidnap her.


Jane's mother has had many boyfriends, and children with several of them.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults smoke and drink, some to drunkenness. One offers gin to a child, who refuses.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that it's implied that Jane's mom has had children with several different men, and that Jane is choked and dragged away by a drunken, abusive man.

What's the story?

Jane, her poet mother, and her three younger siblings live in a seaside vacation cottage year-round. In the summer of her twelfth year Jane wishes for adventure, and has some odd ones, including an unexpected solo balloon flight; delving into the paranormal with the local preacher; being conned into babysitting for free for a horrible woman and her drunken, abusive husband; and meeting several men, former boyfriends of her mom, any of whom might be her father.

Is it any good?


There's an idea in publishing that anything about children must be for children; sometimes this leads to odd ducks like this appealing novel, which could be described as lyrically nostalgic. Not the prime qualifications for a children's book, but traits that will make it very enticing to the few adults who happen across it in the children's section. The publisher rates it for ages 8-12. While there's nothing wildly inappropriate for that age (though there is certainly plenty of behavior and motivation that children in that range simply won't understand), there are long swaths of gorgeous prose that don't leave them much to chew on.

Though older readers may wonder why all the adults in this small town are so crabby and self-centered, they may be swept away by the language, eccentric characters, and the simple, even barren, but oddly appealing life led by Jane and her family. In our harried, media-drenched, overstimulating world it can be a great pleasure to read about people gently whiling away their unhurried lives with berry-picking and jam-making; characters to whom a little local fair or visiting a palm-reader are the adventures of a lifetime. This is a delightful book, if not really for kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about this family's unusual lifestyle. Would you like to live like this? Why or why not? Why doesn't Jane's mom tell her children who their fathers are? Why do you think so many of the adults in this story are so mean and grumpy?

Book details

Author:Polly Horvath
Genre:Family Life
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Schwartz & Wade
Publication date:August 27, 2008
Number of pages:272
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12

This review of My One Hundred Adventures was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Lets readers walk in the shoes of a tweenage girl.

Top advice and articles

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old August 22, 2011

Not much to say

This is just one of those books that makes you think about life, ya know? Not really much to say, except for the fact that it's a very good book. Also, for the thing about adults drinking in it.... one drank too much and started going on about this "transparent poodle". Yeah. That's what alcohol does to you, kids!
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written bypinecone May 23, 2009

Great writer and story, but not for under 12 crowd

Includes cigarette smoking, drinking, comically wondering who the main character's father is, all make me think that this is not appropriate for any child under 12. We checked out the audio book for my 7yo and had no clue that it had this type of content. Otherwise entertaining story full of crazy adventures.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Family Media Agreement