Parents' Guide to

The Wanderer

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Award-winning tale takes risks with storytelling.

The Wanderer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (11):

Lyrically told in alternating journal entries by Sophie and Cody, this exciting sailing adventure is merely the roiling surface of the sea of their lives. Underneath is the story of Bompie's life, revealed in a series of stories that Sophie tells the crew, and Sophie's life, which is not the way she portrays it in her journal. Through hints and snippets in Cody's journal, the reader gradually comes to understand the reality of her past, from which Sophie is hiding.

All of these stylistic techniques will make this especially fascinating to some experienced readers while it will confuse others. Children who are fascinated by sailing will also be drawn in, and those who have the patience to wait for the gradual unfolding of the truth will be intrigued. The Wanderer has become a favorite choice for reading groups and literature circles because of its complexity, but for that same reason it should not be forced on kids who are not ready for it.

Book Details

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