Friday, April 13, 2018

Meet the Picklers: Road Trip with Max and His Mom by Linda Urban

On Monday morning after breakfast, Mom made an announcement. "We are going on an adventure."

Max was surprised. Mom was not the sort of mom who made announcements about adventures. She was the sort of mom who made announcements about laundry needing to be put away.

Max likes adventures. He's excited about his oral report on the South Pole explorer Earnest Shackleton whose ship was crushed in the Antarctic ice. He looks forward to weekends with his dad, when they go out and play spies in disguise.

But Mom's surprise sounds pretty adventurous. They're going all the way to Pennsylvania--a real road trip (across Ohio!) to a reunion of the Pickler family and Great-Great-Aunt Victory's 100th birthday. Max didn't even know he had a great-great aunt named Victory Pickler. But there it all was in the invitation:

Join us at her favorite spot in the world,
Bronco Burt's Wild Ride Amusement Park
for a day of ropin', ridin', and reminiscin'!

There's even a roller coaster called the Big Buckeroo! Max is not sure he's up to that whole adventure! Maybe he'd rather have a regular weekend at Dad's, having pancakes at their favorite cafe and walking Ms. Tibbet's basset hounds. But as he prepares for Biography Day and his report on the feats and discoveries of Shackleton, he tries to find his inner explorer with the courage of a Shackleton.

And at the family reunion, Max meets cousins in cowboy hats he didn't know he had and a lusty great-great aunt whose name really is Victory. He learns that his mother has had a whole other name; before she became his mother, Amy LeRoy, she was Amiable Pickler, fearless rider of roller coasters and horses and a beloved member of a big, adventurous family.

In her second book in series, Linda Urban's Road Trip with Max and His Mom (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018), Max becomes an intrepid explorer, with both feats and discoveries of his own, as he sees another side of his mom and another side of himself as they share their adventure. Urban's beginning chapter book, illustrated with great good humor by Katie Kath, deals sensitively with a child balancing loyalties to two loving parents and realistically exploring who he is and how family life works itself out over the generations.

Urban's excellent first book in this series is Weekends with Max and His Dad (read review here)

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home