My One Hundred Adventures

Common Sense Media says

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?


Children's literature is hard to define but, as the old saw goes, you know it when you see it. There's an idea in publishing that anything about children must be for children, and sometimes this leads to odd ducks like this one. The book is lyrically nostalgic -- not the prime qualifications for a children's book, but traits that will make it very appealing 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
Read aloud:11
Read alone:12

This review of My One Hundred Adventures was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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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.
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
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