THE VACATION by Polly Horvath

THE VACATION

Age Range: 11 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

His impulsive mother having decided to do Good Works in Africa, 12-year-old Henry abruptly finds himself in the decidedly un-maternal care of quarrelsome, forty-ish aunts Magnolia and Pigg. In the wake of Mag’s bout with a gruesome blood disease, the two decide to take a vacation in Virginia Beach—a vacation which turns into an aimless, marathon drive down to Florida, out through Texas, up to Mount Rushmore and thence on a swing through the Midwest. Along the way Henry floats into a swamp with an autistic child for three days, sees Aunt Pigg fall in love with a rancher, is reunited with his squabbling parents in Tulsa after their African sojourn collapses in disaster and ultimately comes round to the conviction that a person’s character is best shaped from what’s inside, not by outside circumstances. Fair enough—but the steady flow of sour outlooks, ill-humored repartee and self-pitying comments is a bit much, even for Horvath. Some will laugh; some will be put off, Horvath fans included. But a new offering from the queen of offbeat is always a welcome holiday. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 2005
ISBN: 0-374-38070-8
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2005




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