My One Hundred Adventures

Polly Horvath's young adult novel follows a girl who yearns for adventures beyond her family's home.

Polly Horvath

Jane is twelve years old, and she is ready for them. She yearns to move beyond the world of her younger siblings and single mother and their cozy house by the sea, and to step into the "know-not-what" — the place where your heart buzzes with excitement and things happen. And over the summer, whether she looks for them or not, adventures keep finding Jane. There's the thrilling solo ride in a hijacked hot-air balloon; the out-of-the-blue appearances of a slew of possible fathers; a weird new friendship with Nellie Phipps, preacher and wannabe psychic; the accidental crime Jane may have committed involving a Bible and a baby named Gourd; and finally, her discovery of the truth that lies at the heart of all great adventures: that it's not what happens to you that matters, but what you learn about yourself. (From Groundwood Books)

From the book

All summers take me back to the sea. There in the long eelgrass, like birds' eggs waiting to be hatched, my brothers and sister and I sit, grasses higher than our heads, arms and legs like thicker versions of the grass waving in the wind, looking up at the blue washed sky. My mother is gathering food for dinner: clams and mussels and the sharply salty greens that grow by the shore. It is warm enough to lie here in the little silty puddles like bathwater left in the tub after the plug has been pulled. It is the beginning of July and we have two months to live out the long, nurturing days, watching the geese and the saltwater swans and the tides as they are today, slipping out, out, out as the moon pulls the other three seasons far away wherever it takes things.

From My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath ©2008. Published by Groundwood Books.