Cover image for The wanderer
The wanderer
Creech, Sharon.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollinsPublishers, 2000.
Physical Description:
305 pages ; 22 cm
Thirteen-year-old Sophie and her cousin Cody record their transatlantic crossing aboard the Wanderer, a forty-five foot sailboat, which, along with uncles and another cousin, is en route to visit their grandfather in England.
General Note:
"Joanna Cotler books."
Preparations: Sea -- Three sides -- Slow time -- Big baby -- Shakedown: Afloat -- Slugs and bananas -- Wildlife -- Dolt and the orphan -- Beheading -- Ahoy -- Juggling -- Blah-blah-blah -- Shakedown -- Bompie and the car-- Island: Grand Manan -- Stranded -- Tradition -- Bompie and the train -- Wood island -- Little kid -- Baptism -- Bompie and the pastor -- Under way: Whoosh! -- Oranges and pizza -- Fired -- Code -- Insurance -- Charlie-Oscar-Delta-Yankee -- Blips -- Knots -- Rosalie -- Bompie and the swimming hole -- Life -- Little kid nightmares -- Blue bopper -- Wind and waves: Bouncing -- Wind -- Howling -- Bobbing -- No time -- Surfing -- Battling -- Weary -- Son -- Alone -- Bompie at the ocean -- Force ten -- Night -- Spinning -- Wave -- Limping -- Jumbled -- Bompie and his father -- Mr. Fix-it -- Wet -- Useful -- Thinking -- Little kid: Push and pull -- New dreams -- Questions -- Land: Ahoy ahoy -- Land -- Bursting -- New body -- Push-pull -- Visitor -- Phone calls -- Wales -- Little girl -- Castle -- Cottage -- Bompie -- Story -- Apples -- Oh, Rosalie! -- Gifts -- Remembering -- Home.
Reading Level:
830 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.2 6.0 36678.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.3 11 Quiz: 21752 Guided reading level: V.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Young Adult Fiction 1:C-POP-MAYR
X Young Adult Fiction 1:C-POP-MAYR
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
X Young Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



The sea, the sea, the sea. It rolled and rolled and called to me. Come in, it said, come in.

Thirteen-year-old Sophie is the only girl amongst the surly crew of The Wanderer made up of her three uncles and two cousins. They sail across the Atlantic toward England, the land of Bompie, her grandfather. The sea calls to Sophie -- promising adventure and the chance to explore and discover. But the personal journey she takes brings her deeper into a forgotten past than she ever knew she could travel to.

Sophie's thirteen-year-old cousin Cody isn't even sure why his father brought him along on this voyage. Everyone, including his dad, thinks he's nothing but a knuckle headed doofus. But behind all the goofing off, he wonders if he has the strength to prove himself to the crew and to his father.

Through Sophie's and Cody's travel logs, the amazing experiences of these six wanderers and their perilous journey unfold. Stories of the past and the daily challenges to survive at sea swirl together as The Wanderer sails toward its destination, and its passengers search for their places in the world.

Newbery Award winner Sharon Creech's newest novel is an adventure-filled story of a courageous girl's journey across the ocean and into the memories of her tragic past. Sophie's struggle to reclaim who she is inspires similar exploration from those around her -- as the crew discovers the joys and trials of belonging to a family.

Author Notes

Sharon Creech was on born July 29, 1945 in South Euclid, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. She was in college when she took literature and writing courses and became intrigued by story-telling. Later, she was a teacher (high school English and writing) in England and in Switzerland.

Her novel Walk Two Moons received in 1995 Newbery Medal; The Wanderer was a 2001 Newbery Honor book and Ruby Holler received the 2002 Carnegie Medal. In 2007, Heartbeat was a finalist in the Junior Division (4th to 6th grades) of the Young Reader's Choice Awards, sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Library Association. She has written over 15 fiction novels for young readers.

She is married to Lyle Rigg, who is the headmaster of The Pennington School in Pennington, New Jersey, and have two grown children, Rob and Karin.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-8. Thirteen-year-old Sophie begs her way aboard a sailboat trip from Connecticut to England, accompanied by her adoptive mother's three brothers and two nephews. Along the way, the close relatives endure close quarters, destructive storms, and the fear that they will not make it to shore. Meanwhile, they come to know each other better and respect each other more. Written with grace, subtlety, and wit, the story unfolds as a series of journal entries by Sophie and her cousin Cody. The apparent openness of Sophie's writing, and the fact that the first four chapters offer her point of view alone, leads readers into an acceptance of her narrative truth. In a shift more poignant than ironic, the reader discovers another layer of reality when Cody reflects on aspects of Sophie's life that the uncles won't discuss (the circumstances surrounding her parents' death) and that she doesn't record in her journal (the fact that she was an orphan, adopted into the family only three years before). Little by little, Sophie begins to remember and acknowledge the parts of her past too painful to deal with before. Presented directly, the weight and force of such revelations might have swamped the novel, but here, handled obliquely, they simply lift and carry the whole story further along. David Diaz contributes a series of small ink drawings as handsome chapter headings that add pleasure to this memorable voyage of discovery. --Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

In a starred review of this Newbery Honor book, PW wrote, "Like Walk Two Moons, this intimate novel poetically connects journey with self-discovery. Creech once again captures the ebb and flow of a vulnerable teen's emotional life, in this enticing blend of adventure and reflection." Ages 8-12. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-9-Thirteen-year-old Sophie, her two cousins, and her three uncles sail across the Atlantic Ocean to England in a 45-foot sailboat, fulfilling the men's lifelong dream. The trip is also a perfect opportunity to visit the ailing patriarch of the family, Bompie, who recently left the U.S. and returned to his birthplace. Sophie conveys her fascination with the sea in journal entries and retells many of Bompie's stories. Cousin Cody, also 13, keeps his own journal and it is through his entries that readers learn that Sophie's view of things is not always reliable and that she does not always tell the truth. Sophie is actually adopted and has never met Bompie. What happened to her birth parents? Why does she pretend her adopted family is her only family? And why does she pretend to know a man she has never met? These questions will keep readers motivated to discover the answers to the girl's secrets. During the journey, the shipmates endure a dangerous storm that reveals truths about each of them and allows Sophie to face the truth. The first-person immediacy and episodic nature of the narratives allow for piecemeal but intimate revelation of character. The story is exciting, funny, and brimming with life. For each crew member, there is a conscious journey to Bompie across the sea, and an unconscious one of self-discovery. This is a beautifully written and imaginatively constructed novel that speaks to the power of survival and the delicacy of grief.-Katie O'Dell, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



The Wanderer Chapter One The Sea The sea, the sea, the sea. It rolled and rolled and called to me. Come in, it said, come in. And in I went, floating, rolling, splashing, swimming, and the sea called, Come out, come out, and further I went but always it swept me back to shore. And still the sea called, Come out, come out, and in boats I went'in rowboats and dinghies and motorboats, and after I learned to sail, I flew over the water, with only the sounds of the wind and the water and the birds, all of them calling, Sail on, sail on. And what I wanted to do was go on and on, across the sea, alone with the water and the wind and the birds, but some said I was too young and the sea was a dangerous temptress, and at night I dreamed a terrible dream. A wall of water, towering, black, crept up behind me and hovered over me and then down, down it came, but always I awoke before the water covered me, and always I felt as if I were floating when I woke up. Chapter Two Three Sides I am not always such a dreamy girl, listening to the sea calling me. My father calls me Three-sided Sophie: one side is dreamy and romantic; one is logical and down-to-earth; and the third side is hardheaded and impulsive. He says I am either in dreamland or earthland or mule-land, and if I ever get the three together, I'll be all set, though I wonder where I will be then. If I'm not in dreamland or earthland or mule-land, where will I be? My father says my logical side is most like him, and the dreamy side most like my mother, which isn't entirely fair, I don't think. My father likes to think of himself as a logical man, but he is the one who pores over pictures of exotic lands and says things like "We should go on a safari!" and "We should zip through the air in a hot-air balloon!" And although my mother is a weaver and spins silky cloths and wears flowing dresses, she is the one who gives me sailing textbooks and makes me study water safety and weather prediction and says things like "Yes, Sophie, I taught you to sail, but that doesn't mean I like the idea of you being out there alone on the water. I want you to stay home. Here. With me. Safe." My father says he doesn't know who my hardheaded mule side resembles. He says mules don't run in the family. I am thirteen, and I am going to sail across the ocean. Although I would like to go alone -- alone! alone! flying over the water! -- I'm not. My mule-self begged a place aboard a forty-five-foot sailboat with a motley crew: three uncles and two cousins. The uncles -- Stew, Mo, and Dock -- are my mother's brothers, and she told them, "If the slightest harm comes to my Sophie, I'll string you all up by your toes." She isn't worried (although maybe she should be) about the influence of my cousin Brian -- quiet, studious, serious Brian -- but she frets over the bad habits I might learn from my other cousin, Cody. Cody is loud, impulsive, and charming in a way my mother does not trust. "He's too charming," she says, "in a dangerous sort of way." My mother isn't the only person who is not thrilled for me to take this trip. My uncles Stew and Mo tried their best to talk me out of it. "It's going to be a bunch of us guys, doing guy things, and it wouldn't be a very pleasant place for a girl," and "Wouldn't you rather stay home, Sophie, where you could have a shower every day?" and "It's a lot of hard work," and yakkety-yak they went. But I was determined to go, and my mule-self kicked in, spouting a slew of sailing and weather terms, battering them over the head with all the things I'd learned in my sailing books, and with some things I'd made up, for good measure. Uncle Dock -- the good uncle, I call him, because he's the one who doesn't see any harm in my coming -- said, "Heck, she knows more about boats than Brian and Cody put together," and so they caved in. There are two other reasons my mother has not tied me to my bed and refused to let me go. The first is that Uncle Dock gave her an extensive list of the safety provisions aboard the boat, which include a satellite navigator, the Global Positioning System. The second reason, not a very logical one, but one that somehow comforts my mother, is that Bompie is on the other side of the ocean. We will end up in Bompie's arms, and she wishes she could join us just for that moment. Bompie is my grandfather -- my mother's father, and also Uncle Dock, Stew, and Mo's father -- and he lived with my parents for many years. He is like a third parent and I love him because he is so like me. He is a man of three sides, like me, and he knows what I am thinking without my having to say it. He is a sweet man with a honey tongue and he is a teller of tales. At the age of seventy-two, Bompie decided to go home. I thought he was already in his home, but what he meant by home was the place where he was born, and that place was "the rolling green hills of England." My father was wrong about mules not running in the family. When Bompie decided to return to England, nothing was going to stop him. He made up his mind and that was that, and off he went. Bye-bye, Bompie. The Wanderer . Copyright © by Sharon Creech. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Wanderer by Sharon Creech All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

I. Preparations
1. The Seap. 1
2. Three Sidesp. 3
3. Slow Timep. 8
4. The Big Babyp. 12
II. Shakedown
5. Afloatp. 23
6. Slugs and Bananasp. 28
7. Wildlifep. 30
8. The Dolt and the Orphanp. 34
9. Beheadingp. 38
10. Ahoyp. 44
11. Jugglingp. 46
12. Blah-blah-blahp. 51
13. Shakedownp. 52
14. Bompie and the Carp. 59
III. The Island
15. Grand Mananp. 65
16. Strandedp. 70
17. Traditionp. 72
18. Bompie and the Trainp. 80
19. Wood Islandp. 87
20. The Little Kidp. 96
21. The Baptismp. 100
22. Bompie and the Pastorp. 106
IV. Under Way
23. Whoosh!p. 113
24. Oranges and Pizzap. 119
25. Firedp. 121
26. Codep. 124
27. Insurancep. 126
28. Charlie-Oscar-Delta-Yankeep. 130
29. Blipsp. 133
30. Knotsp. 144
31. Rosaliep. 146
32. Bompie and the Swimming Holep. 154
33. Lifep. 160
34. Little Kid Nightmaresp. 165
35. The Blue Bopperp. 168
V. Wind and Waves
36. Bouncingp. 181
37. Windp. 182
38. Howlingp. 184
39. Bobbingp. 185
40. No Timep. 188
41. Surfingp. 189
42. Battlingp. 194
43. Wearyp. 195
44. The Sonp. 196
45. Alonep. 197
46. Bompie at the Oceanp. 198
47. Force Tenp. 201
48. Nightp. 203
49. Spinningp. 205
50. The Wavep. 210
51. Limpingp. 216
52. Jumbledp. 217
53. Bompie and His Fatherp. 220
54. Mr. Fix-itp. 222
55. Wetp. 224
56. Usefulp. 226
57. Thinkingp. 229
58. Little Kid: Push and Pullp. 230
59. New Dreamsp. 233
60. Questionsp. 239
VI. Land
61. Ahoy Ahoyp. 245
62. Landp. 248
63. Burstingp. 251
64. New Bodyp. 255
65. Push-Pullp. 257
66. The Visitorp. 260
67. Phone Callsp. 262
68. Walesp. 265
69. The Little Girlp. 267
70. The Castlep. 274
71. The Cottagep. 275
72. Bompiep. 277
73. The Storyp. 280
74. Applesp. 286
75. Oh, Rosalie!p. 290
76. Giftsp. 294
77. Rememberingp. 299
78. Homep. 304