Read As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins Online


Train.Car.Plane.Boat.Feet.He'll get there.Won't he?...

Title : As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061870903
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth Reviews

  • Pam
    2019-02-28 09:40

    The Newbery Group has been referencing this book for a couple of months now, so I thought I should read it. Since it is a road trip book about a teenage boy I was thinking it would have some Kerouac inspiration/feel to it. To the author's credit, she does know how to create characters that are warm, interesting, and provide depth to make them seem realistic. I wish the same could be said of her plot. The story as one reviewer described it seems like a Rube Goldberg machine and unfortunately it is just as unbelievable and odd as one of those machines. The chain of events one after another seem so unrealistic I never could get to the point of suspending disbelief. In brief without spoiling the plot, the main character, Ry, is taking a train to summer camp when the train stops in the middle of nowhere because of a malfunction. He steps off the train and then further away, in order to get better cell phone reception. Then the train leaves without him. His parents are taking a second honeymoon after a stressful move leaving the grandfather at the new house to take care of the dogs (the dogs are important believe it or not). Each character experiences unlikely mishaps that somehow make it impossible for the main character to let his family know he is lost. (Yes Ry has a cell phone for which he can't seem to find a charger, but even with low battery and the text feature enabled he can't seem to contact the friends who text him and get them to help him.) Other people really found this book charming and wonderful. I just couldn't get there.

  • Caren
    2019-03-02 12:57

    Oh my goodness, I do like this author! The question is, how can I describe this book and do it justice? The plot could be likened to a Rube Goldberg machine, with one thing leading to another until it is all flowing along, quite out-of-control. Or perhaps it brings to mind the saying that life is what happens while you are making other plans. Ry, the teenage protagonist is on a train in Montana, on his way to summer camp, when the train stops in the middle of nowhere while experiencing a problem. He jumps off and steps away, then further away, in order to get better cell phone reception. Wait a minute---is the train pulling away without him?? Meanwhile, his parents, after the exhaustion of a move to a new house in a new city, are on a little jaunt, sailing around the Caribbean, hoping to put the spark back into their romance, while Ry's grandfather is holding down the fort (and caring for the two dogs) back at the new house in Wisconsin. There is no good way to continue the description, other than to say that each of the above parties experiences its own mishaps and, as the plot tumbles ahead seemingly out of control, you begin to wonder how on earth the author will wrap up all of those wildly flapping ends.Along the way you will meet a cast of characters as likable and kooky as any you might really encounter in our vast land. The author also provides some amusing illustrations, particularly of the doggie journey that is woven in and out of the people story. You will just want to keep reading to see where Ry's odyssey (and make no mistake, this is a coming-of-age odyssey)will lead him next. At the end, I wanted to go back to the beginning and read it again, just to study the author's craft---it is that well-written. Could it all really happen? Well, as Ry learns in the end, "I don't know about 'impossible'."

  • Collin
    2019-02-27 17:51

    Quirky. That's the first word that comes to mind. Quirky. Take Lemony Snicket, Wendelin Van Draanen, and a sprinkling of Jonathan Stroud (for the amusing author's interventions/footnotes), and you have As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth.Basically, it asks how do you fall off the face of the Earth? And goes about answering that in the form of a story. About a young boy who misses his train ride, loses the use of his cellphone, and thus is severed from all connection to his family and grandfather. It's a far-fetched story - rather like a modern-day tall tale you'd hear around a virtual campfire - and yet it feels totally real.My favorite, of course, is Del, the overly compassionate, overly stubborn young-old man who accompanies Ry on his journey back home. Ry himself is adorable, and his grandfather Lloyd, while not really important, is still fun to read about. And the comics about the dogs are priceless.The ending is a little abrupt. But I wasn't expecting much more. It's still great. It's still fun. Weird, very weird - but fun.

  • Kathleen Houlihan
    2019-03-08 11:46

    What a wonderful book! It's so rare that a book makes me laugh out loud, and I did a lot with this book. Ry, our hero who can't seem to catch a break, is so endearing and charming. You can see him soaking up all his new experiences like a sponge, and growing as a person. So many mishaps and yet he soldiers on, making the best of each situation, meeting new people, learning new things, and generally being an awesome and brave individual. I wish I were a little more like Ry... he is kind of my hero. He displays quite an aptitude for braving the unknown in parts of the story -- something I really admired. The grown ups are a lesser part of the story (except Del who is pretty essential), but are all so wonderful, yet realistically flawed. Just loved it! And the dogs... ha! Oh the dogs on their own crazy adventure... excellent.I'm reading some other reviews now (I try not to do that before reading a book and writing my own review) and it's interesting to hear the other takes on the book. It seems like the main criticisms focus on how unrealistic all these curveballs are that are thrown Ry's way. The other criticisms are that the book isn't as tightly written as Criss Cross (which I haven't read). I disagree with both criticisms. I have known people who have been the brunt of a spate of ill luck, so this doesn't seem like a contrivance. In fact, what's so wonderful is that Ry grows from each of these potentially negative situations. As another reader beautifully put it, he discovers that every situation in life is fixable, no matter how crappy it might seem. And that is an awesome thing to be reminded of. Since I haven't read Criss Cross, I can't comment on it comparatively, but I thought the timing of the story and the plot development were excellent. There is a bit of tension the reader must deal with -- each time some new obstacle lands in Ry's path, we cringe inside... which is exactly what we should be feeling. It's so rare that I find an author who can really make me care so much about a character that I get heart palpitations when something bad happens to them. At the end, I thought I might lose it if anything else happened to him... and how wonderful is that? That I cared so much about a fictional character -- that he was so real to me that I worried for his ultimate safety... that's just awesome. I've closed so many books and said "adieu" to the main characters, with nary a backward glance... I have a feeling I'll be thinking about Ry and Del for a long time... and thinking what they would do, each time life places an obstacle in my path.

  • Jeffrey
    2019-03-05 09:58

    OK. I really did not like this book. It was so unbelievable that I was just getting mad about it!From the very beginning the author expects us to suspend all reality just so we could go on this adventure by having us believe that the town he first encounters is filled with complete idiots. I am sorry, but if a kid were to show up saying he was from the train and lost, the FIRST thing any normal person would do is call the cops. They will take care of it. They will have the cops in IL go to his house. You do not decide to have him work for you, and then drive him across the country home.I was fine for that part, I was alright, I will go along with this. The part that finally got me to stop reading because of the stupidity of it was when they decide to drive to FL and fly to San Juan. REALLY? REALLY??? You wouldn't spend those 2-3 days driving around town looking for his grandfather. You wouldn't wait by the phone for you parents to call. Or go looking for the dogs. That was so unbelievably unrealistic. I had to stop reading at that point because I don't like it when authors want us to be as stupid as the characters in the book.I realize it is a work of fiction, but I would at least like it to be somewhat realistic.

  • Wendy
    2019-03-19 17:53

    While I didn't have the feeling of LOVE LOVE LOVE that I had with Criss Cross, this is a really good book; once again, Lynne Rae Perkins has done something that's not quite what everyone else is doing. (And people who complain that Criss Cross has no plot, even though they're wrong, will not have that problem with this book.) I think just about everyone will enjoy this, especially people who liked Holes, Crunch by Leslie Connor, or Shift by Jennifer Bradbury.

  • Kate
    2019-03-15 10:52

    Ry is on his way to summer camp when his train stops in the middle of Montana. He gets off to call his parents, then sees the train taking off without him, leaving him stranded. With no one answering his calls home - his parents are on a trip to the Caribbean and his grandfather has his own adventure going on - Ry heads to the nearest town, where he finds Del, a man of many mechanical talents, who takes Ry in for a few days. When Ry is still unable to reach anyone in his family, Del decides to drive Ry back to Wisconsin... or further, if need be. This was a fun story that would appeal to a wide audience - not just boys! Ry goes along for the ride with Del, for whom nothing is totally impossible. While we never see exactly what is happening to Ry's grandfather or his parents, or his grandfather's two dogs (who go on their own journey), we get enough information to know that their journey is similar to Ry, with many mishaps and lucky breaks along the way. This isn't the deepest book I ever read but the characters are likable and the author doesn't hit you over the head with the "inner journey" theme. The bits of illustration and comic book panels will appeal to the reluctant reader. This is definitely a good summer book.

  • Doug
    2019-03-04 09:49

    Wow. There are so many things I love about this book. There's careful prose like this:Ry's grandfather, Lloyd, took his first cup of coffee out onto the screened porch, sat down on a glider, and waited in the dark for the birds to start chirping. Between him and the sun, there was a thin bit of earth and a thick wall of trees, still black with night. As he sipped, the first rays of the sun found tiny gaps to poke through. Tomorrow he would pour the pot of coffee into a thermos to bring out onto the porch so he didn't have to go back inside.andA stray moonbeam found the way through a window and fell in a faint square on the faded carpet, leaving the darkness around it blacker and more velvety.or, a bit more representatively, the novel's opening:Wait a minute.Was the -- had the train just moved?Ry turned his head to look at it straight on, but it sat on the tracks, as still as the lumpy brown hill he was climbing. As still as the grass that baked in gentle swells as far as he could see and the air in the empty blue sky.I love the novel's structure. It sets up expectations and then delivers something slightly different. (It made me think of the "There once was a farmer who took a young miss in back of the barn where he gave her a ... lecture" song, although it's nothing like as gimmicky or obvious.) I love that it repeatedly made me laugh out loud in delighted surprise, even if the delightful surprise was ratcheting the novel's tension to an almost uncomfortable degree. I love that I had absolutely no idea, even in the last handful of chapters, if this book sided with the "everything turns out basically ok," "okay with a dollop of tragedy," or "dude, major bummer!" camp. I love the authorial voice, and especially how it assumes the reader is smart and paying attention, and often leaves conclusions for the reader to draw.Things I'm less sure about: Perkins is pretty deliberately playing with the elasticity of the reader's credibility, I think, and somewhere near the end I struggled to keep mine from snapping. And the more I think about it, the more I think the dénoument is tonally completely appropriate, that is, that it should be a little unsatisfying. But that unsatisfyingness is only satisfying in retrospect.Regardless this gets 5 stars from me even if it blows my credibility to give anything 5 stars, and I strongly suspect I will purchase multiple copies of this novel in my lifetime because I'm going to want to lend it to people who will want to lend it to people, and so on. And I really won't mind.Another hat-tip to Janet for the recommendation

  • Jessica-Robyn
    2019-03-05 16:52

    As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth is a book that I would describe as a contemporary adventure. For sixteen year old Ry this is the tale of how one misstep turned into his struggle to find his way back home. It's an interesting premise, but for me it fell rather flat. The spirit is there, but I never really connected with Ry. He never felt like a real person, or rather a convincing older teenage boy, and that made me question the believability of his situation more then once. This is another example of grade A parenting and avoidance of an obvious solution in order to tell a story. Which only gets worse when adults get involved in trying to help Ry on his journey home.Still, this did have it's redeeming qualities. I always enjoy coming across YA with a male protagonist in a coming of age story. There isn't enough of them and I'm hardly one to discourage this being read by it's more target audience. Also, despite it's flaws, the story being told was in some cases very interesting and is definitely a unique take on a road trip type novel. I would recommend this to younger YA readers, even going as low as middle grade. I would just try not to think to deeply about the plot and just go with it. This wasn't my type of book, but it has some aspects that I think will really appeal to a younger male audience. Even better, parents of pre-teen like creatures might be interested in using this type of story to explain to their kids how to deal with situations like say, talking to strangers or getting lost in an unfamiliar area.

  • Carol
    2019-03-16 16:45

    Lynn Rae Perkins is becoming one of my favorite authors, right up there with Sharon Creech and Patricia MacLachlan. This story follows the escapades of Ry, a teenage guy whose life this particular summer includes a series of unlikely but-what-if's, all of which befall him and his family. Thus, Ry's summer camp having been cancelled, he throws his lot in with Del, a taciturn, self-admittedly stubborn, chronic let-me-help-you-out-er, and they make their way East (and eventually to the Caribbean) in hopes of locating some of Ry's lost family members. The tale is told mostly through Ry's perspective, though the omniscient narrator has her own occasional wry asides to add. The writing is a treat - quirky, beautifully descriptive without being too wordy, and true to the characters being described. Having married into a sailing family, I particularly loved her descriptions of Ry's first sailing experience. Here's one of my favorite couple of lines:"He haffed the chuffs, clipped the ridings, railed the boards, highed the lows, skibed the rampets, harbed the reefs, and cleeted the forths. Which is what sailing talk sounds like if you are not a sailor." Sailor or not, I recommend you take a trip with Ry and Del.

  • Jeanne
    2019-03-07 12:49

    RC 2013 HATED THIS BOOK! I only forced myself to finish it because it was Rebecca Caudill, and why on earth was this Rebecca Caudill? I could see it being on the high school list--but the middle school list? I thought the story was mostly boring, the weird dog pictures didn't add anything to it, and the writing was pretentious. Authorial interruptions either have to be consistent and humorous or not existent in a book. You can't just interject in a couple spots because you feel like it. Here is an example of the writing style from p. 274. "Ry blocked out the image this conjured up, which was a powerful one (black, with heaving, lapping, crashing swells of immense, cold, salty ocean and the boat snapping like a toothpick again invisible-in-the-darkness boulders, and the water so cold, so endless), from his mind, and instead looked at a phalanx of happy goats that came frolicking, fearless of the precipice they danced along, so close to the edge." BLECH! You can tell it was bad because it took me 5 days to read a young adult book!

  • Andy
    2019-03-18 16:51

    Ever had one of those days where nothing goes as planned? Perkins has taken this premise and penned an entire novel that throws calamity, accident, and mishap—one right after the other—onto the main character. The adventure begins when 16-year-old Ry is stranded by his train in the middle of Montana. As he tries to navigate his way home, Ry encounters a series of misfortunes. Other reviewers have raved, calling Perkins’ story comedic and witty, but the humor was completely lost on me. I felt instead that the author was asking me to read her boring writing exercise, an experiment which meandered endlessly and completely failed to draw me in.

  • Marilyn
    2019-02-24 15:49

    You know those contraptions called Rube Goldberg machines? This book came across to me as the literary version of one of those. Ry, or the ball on the RGM, careens through everything possible life can throw at him plus a few extra curves just to make it even more unexpectedly exciting. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed reading this book, but along about the fifth accident that happens I felt it just got a little out of hand, that there was too much happening in this boy's life. It became unbelievable to me, which is too bad because I really liked the first half. Perkins is a wonderful writer, so don't let my musings stop you from trying it. A little language.

  • A.
    2019-03-01 09:41

    Goodness, this book was completely ridiculous in the most enjoyable way. I mean, it was beyond realistic to the point of absurdity, and I just found myself smiling at it all. Characters, check. Writing, check. A fun time, check. Yes, yes, yes.

  • Karlan
    2019-03-04 17:36

    What a wonderful book! I enjoyed her writing in ALL ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE and CRISS CROSS where the stories were quiet ones. I marveled at how well she could recreate the feelings of a 12 year old. This new novel is an energetic, frantic road trip filled with humor, excitement and surprises.

  • Giovanna Vitale
    2019-03-07 10:48

    What would you do if you found yourself all alone in an unfamiliar landscape? This is the question Ry, the main character of As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth, by Lynne Rae Perkins, must face. Ry is a resourceful fifteen year old who leaves his train briefly to make a phone call, which results in his train departing without him. He is left in the middle of nowhere with only an unusable cellphone and the clothes on his back, hundreds of miles away from anyone he knows. On his journey to find his way back to his family, he faces great conflict, as well as meeting many altruistic characters along the way, who help teach Ry many important lessons. I recommend this exciting adventure novel because of its strong themes, compelling characters, and unique conflicts. The conflicts in this adventure are riveting and suspenseful. The plot is put into motion at the beginning of the novel with the conflict of Ry missing his train, but as the story unfolds, many other challenges arise. This multitude of misfortunes and difficult situations, although somewhat unrealistic, develop the intriguing plot as well as Ry’s characterization as he learns how to respond to the situations at hand. Because of these conflicts, character was another aspect of my recommendation of this book. The characters in this novel were compelling and taught important lessons. Ry, the main character, was the most dynamic character in this novel, as the adversity he faced caused him to change his mindset about the important things in his life. For example, at the beginning of this novel, Ry complained about moving to a new home, but his experiences throughout the novel caused him to realize that being with his family is of greater importance. Another character in this novel in Del, a kind free spirit who takes Ry under his wing and accompanies him on his travels. Del is a dynamic character as well because he learns over the course of this book that being reckless and stubborn has its consequences. Mysteries about Del’s life are slowly revealed over the course of this book, creating intrigue to this character. There are many other characters introduced as Ry travels to different locations, such as Carl, a reckless driver, Sharon, a busy mom, and Everett, a pilot. While these characters have an ephemeral role in the book, they all play a part in teaching Ry important themes. One theme of this novel was the importance of kindness. This is because without the kindness of the complete strangers that Ry met when he had no one else to turn to, he would not have been able to find his way back to his family. Ry proved the motif of the importance of kindness even more when he decided to pay it forward by assisting one woman repair her kitchen floorboards. This action proved that he recognized and appreciated what many strangers had done for him, and decided to do something in return. Another theme in this book is that nothing is impossible. Throughout As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth, there were many occasions where Ry thought he would never be able to find his way back home. But as he continuously faces and defies many challenges, he learns that with the help of others, he can accomplish anything. I recommend this book because of its strong character, themes, and conflicts. Lynne Rae Perkins’ captivating prose will make readers laugh and cry through the many twists and turns of the plot. For those who enjoy adventure and coming of age stories, this is the perfect novel, full of suspense, friendship, and humor.

  • Daniella DeYoung
    2019-03-17 16:35

    Have you ever felt alone no matter what you did? In As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins Ry misses his train on his way to summer camp leaving him completely stranded, and alone. He left at the train station without a boot, a phone, and any sign of hope. There is now way for him to reach his grandfather who is lost in the woods, and his parents that are currently sailing around the Philippines. Until he meets Del a handy, and kind logger who takes him in. Together they go on an amazing journey to find Ry’s family that takes them across the country. They will go against all the odds in cars, planes, and boats to make Ry’s house a home once again. Learning from and about one another along the way they realize that their home is now not complete without each other. Del teaches Ry about putting others before himself, and to always seize the day. This is part of the main themes Lynne Rae Perkins displays in this book.Lynne Rae Perkins displayed the relationship between Del and Ry very well, but other parts of the book were lacking. When Ry meets Del he is also introduced to the men, and a young girl, Beth that works with him. These characters however are only apart of the story for a couple chapters. During this short period of time the idea of a romantic feelings between Ry, and Beth is play with. It seems pointless to the reader to introduce these character because this romance does not develop, and we never meet these characters later on. This also does not tell the reader any new information about the Del’s character that isn’t revealed later in the book.People who love adventure and books with multiple points of view will enjoy this novel. It is meant for all ages, and will teach you about what really makes a house a home. I do not think this book is on that you will want to read over again. This novel does not display a strong main character because we don’t learn about his personality during the book. The reader does feel empathy for Ry, but doesn’t really get to know his character.As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth is book that i wouldn’t recommend reading even though it has a compelling plot, and interesting theme. This book leaves the reader bored and wanting more.

  • Nate U.
    2019-03-06 13:45

    As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth:Searching for the Ones We Love Have you ever gone great lengths to find someone you love? This is exactly what Ry and others do in As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth, which is a fabulous realistic fiction novel by Lynne Rae Perkins. The book starts when the main character Ry is going off to camp. His parents are away on a trip, and his grandfather is watching his house in Wisconsin. While on the train to camp, Ry opens a letter saying that camp is canceled, so he hops off the train for a second while it takes a quick stop somewhere in Montana and climbs a nearby hill to obtain cell service, planning to call his grandfather. It takes longer than expected, and the train ends up departing without Ry. In a panic, he rushes down the tracks and soon comes to a town where he finds shelter with a nice but eccentric man named Del. Ry calls home and his grandfather does not pick up or call back for several days, so Del agrees to drive him to Wisconsin to see what is going on. An important theme in As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth is that people will look for and are naturally attracted to the ones they love because the dogs search for Lloyd, Del keeps going back to Yulia, and Ry decides to go look for his parents in the Caribbean. The theme that people will look for and are naturally attracted to the ones they love is especially evident in this book because the dogs search for Lloyd. While Ry is on is way to camp, his grandpa Lloyd falls in a sinkhole while walking Ry's dogs. He hits his head and forgets who he is, and the dogs get lost in the forest. The dogs realize he is injured and try to get help, but they are sidetracked by a scent. They continue to search for him, as they don't know a nice woman named Betty is helping him. The dogs are so faithful as they search for him. The dogs are depicted in cartoons searching for him, and they are shown on many pages searching far and wide for Lloyd. In deduction, I can tell that even though they aren't humans, they love Lloyd and that is why they are searching far and wide for him. Dogs are interesting creatures in the way that they show human-like traits, and these dogs do an amazing job of depicting how beings are strongly connected to the ones they love, and will search for them no matter what. In As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth, the theme that people will always search for the ones they love and that they are naturally attracted to them is shown by the fact that Del keeps coming back to Yulia. It's not especially clear in the story what their exact relationship is, but you know that they were lovers at some point. They are clearly “broken up”, but Del keeps seeing Yulia. Wherever Yulia moves, Del always seems to come back to her. A great example of this is the poem that Del writes: “I fling myself far and I think I'm free. Who am I kidding? Invisible forces, and visible ones, come into play: a stranger comes to town, someone goes on a trip. Leaving and staying away is as easy as falling off the face of the Earth.” (pg. 308) This quote is a great example of how humans are just attracted to the ones they love because Del describes how he tries to separate himself from Yulia, but in the end he comes back to her. To conclude, the fact that Del comes back to Yulia time after time illustrates the theme that people will search for and are naturally attracted to the ones they love. An important theme in As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth is that people will look for and are attracted to the ones they love because Ry goes to look for his parents in the Caribbean. When he arrives in Waupatoneka (his hometown) and finds his grandfather missing, he decides to go and search for his parents who are on a trip in the Caribbean. This quote illustrates his decision: “And so, in ten sentences or less (don't count, it's an expression), in the wink of an eye, from zero to sixty, Ry went from 'Yeah, right,' to throwing some clothes in a backpack and grabbing the money from his secret place. .” (pg. 172) I can tell from this quote that Ry didn't hesitate to go look for his parents because he loves them. If it was anyone else, he wouldn't have gone. But because he loves his parents and is just naturally attracted to them, he made the decision to travel all the way to the Caribbean to find them. In conclusion, Ry's decision to go look for his parents illustrates the theme that people will look for and are attracted to the ones you love because this is exactly what he did with his parents. An important theme in As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth is that people will look for and are naturally attracted to the ones they love because the dogs search for Lloyd, Del keeps going back to Yulia, and Ry decides to go look for his parents in the Caribbean. To rate, I would give this book a four because I really liked it, but it was nothing incredibly amazing. I can connect to this book because I once became lost in Costco. I was young, and I didn't know what to do. I frantically ran around the store for twenty minutes, until they called me to the front desk where my mom was waiting. I was scared out of my mind because I thought I would lose my mom forever. In the book, Ry isn't in danger of losing his parents, but he was so scared that he made things seem worse than they really were, just as I did when I was lost in the store. In reading this book, I learned that we all make drastic decisions sometimes and that sometimes these will lead to a happy ending, Ry made so many nonsensical decisions in this book, but we all make these especially when fear is pressuring us into them. To conclude, As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth is an out of the ordinary book and was a worthwhile read.

  • Chris
    2019-03-22 14:54

    This is a fun book, in the best sense of the word. Unexpected adventure based on ridiculous happenstance and coincidences piled higher and higher, colorful characters, a light-hearted yet lyrical and effective narrator, and underneath it all a bit of wisdom. I really liked it.The adventure starts when teenager Ry, on his way across the country to the camp where he is to be a counselor for the summer, opens a neglected letter to find the camp has been cancelled. Within minutes, his train stops in the middle of empty Montana for a mechanical issue, so he decides to sieze the moment to climb a nearby hill in search of cell phone service. And gets stranded as the train continues without him. Unbeknownst to Ry, his parents' cell phone has been stolen while they wander the Carribean in a sail boat, getting blown off course by a storm and delayed by mechanical issues, and his grandfather has no idea where he is or what he's doing due to short-term memory loss after suffering a concussion while house-sitting the dogs at the family's new house. Luckily, Ry wanders across the right stranger, who helps him undertake a quest to first find his way home then locate his missing family.Some bits I especially liked:Ry looked at his feet and legs in one of those little shoe mirrors that sat on the floor. The shoes were a metaphor for the decline of western civilization: crappy and glitzy and barely useful, but pretty comfortable. This is the narrator's opinion. Ry didn't think that thought specifically, but he felt as dispirited as if he had.-----"So, do you really have errands between Montana and Wisconsin?" he asked Del. Because looking around, he couldn't think what anyone would do here. No offense to North Dakota, but it was pretty subtle so far. There were a lot of green fields, with ponds and waterfowl, sometimes a bright yellow field. There were wide-open spaces and a lonely kind of green monotonous peacefulness that he knew his mother would really get off on. If she could go for a hike with the dogs, and if she coul find a good cup of coffee. But he was still young and preferred some stimulation. Other human beings, for example. Other young human beings. Maybe groups of them, though even one or two would be a start."Not errands, exactly," said Del. "Just people I like to visit when I can.""Where do they live?" asked Ry."I have a couple of friends in St. Paul," said Del. "And a friend down in San Juan that I might drop in on.""San Juan?" said Ry. "In Puerto Rico? I wouldn't call that 'on the way.'""Just depends on how you look at it," said Del. "Once you leave home, anything can be on the way."-----Ry thought he could hear the sound of the surf and sat up to find out whether he could see the ocean. The sound turned out to be coming from a blowtorch. Everett, in a Hawaiian shirt, his skinny legs, and flip-flops, was weeding his patio. With some kind of blowtorch-flamethrower device.-----The sea was magnificent. But then there was the deepness and the vastness of it, and the itsy-bitsyness of their boat. It wasn't seasickness Ry felt. This was more akin to panic. He had an intense longing to be on shore, any shore. He would like to be moving from the shore toward the center of a substantial continent. Just think of it like an Imax movie, he said to himself. An Imax movie times four or five or six, a screen in every direction. It didn't help.

  • Eva Mitnick
    2019-03-09 11:35

    15-year-old Ry is on a train heading to summer camp. The train stops in the middle of Nowhere, Montana for no apparent reason. Ry gets off to stretch his legs and try for better cell phone reception, leaving his backpack on the train. Train leaves. Oops!This book could be called Trains, Planes, and Automobiles (and Small Boats), because these are the various transportation methods Ry uses to try to get home again. Like all great road stories, this isn't about home itself but about the journey to get there. After all, when Ry finally does reach home (a brand-new home, to which his family has just moved), he discovers that no one is there, and so he must set off on yet another journey to round up some family members. No, this story is about being away from home, and the folks you meet and the things you see and learn while out in the big world.Just about every character in this book is more or less lost and looking for home (or someone to call home). Ry's grandpa is having his own bewildering adventure, caused by a nasty bump on the head he incurred while walking Ry's dogs. The dogs, meanwhile, go home to find help - but then remember that they actually used to live in a different place, so they set off for their old home, hoping to find their humans there. Naturally, they're soon lost themselves, and their story is told comic-book style. Ry's parents are having some misadventures in the Caribbean, where their lack of set itinerary means that Ry can't reach them by cell phone. And even Del, the mellow, stubborn fix-it man and jack-of-all-trades with whom Ry travels, is a bit lost, though his heart's compass keeps pointing toward a certain woman on a certain small island.What have we got between all these stories of lost souls who can't quite seem to connect with each other? There are strange characters (Carl, the half-blind man with numb legs who loves to drive stolen cars), hair-raising adventure (the episode involving Carl being a good example, but if you need another, try the duct-taped homemade airplane or the sinking sailboat), romance (Del and his gal), two fabulous dogs, and a narrative style rich with humor and fresh with quirk.In short, this was one hugely entertaining read from start to finish. It's one of my faves of the year so far, breezy but also full of intriguing ideas about our relationships with people and places. That this is the experience of a lifetime for Ry is unmistakeable. That he'll always savor it, but be more than ready to move on and experience more of life is certain as well.Highly recommended for ages 12 to 16.

  • Misty
    2019-03-16 14:39

    Ry is off to summer camp. Wait, he's how old? (*cough* 16) But on the train he opens a letter from the camp that says camp is cancelled. He gets off the train to call home, but the train leaves without him. So he walks into town and Del takes him in and after a day of working at Del's tree cutting down business, Ry decides to let Del drive him across country to home. Wow. Ry, you're kind of an idiot. And even though Del is a nice guy, he has other reasons for driving Ry home which turn out to be his wife, What's her name.Ry and his folks have bad luck after back luck, but Ry can't really grow because it's not bad choices he's making, not really, not in the sense of being a bad egg who needs reform...more like choices that turn out to be poor based on the circumstances. So it's all about circumstances and not about Ry at all. So then I have to ask myself who is this book even about, because it's not about Del either. Ry is extraodinarily under-developed as a character--he really falls flat. Del is the one who has personality, character, integrity, intelligence, a bevy of interesting friends, and a history you wish you knew.I liked this book, but as there was no romance and nobody fell in love, it kinda didn't do it for me. The thing was, there was totally the possiblity of a great love story between Del and ...Whatever her name was that was barely touched on.I suppose it wasn't touched on because that wasn't the point of the novel. But then I had to ask myself what the point was. ....*crickets--crickets*... Um...there wasn't one? But the poem Del writes to his wife inspires the title of the book--and it's about falling in love,or maybe being in love, and it's pretty much one of the sweetest poems ever. Try as I might, I can't escape your gravity.My orbit is eliptical.I fling myself far and think I'm free.Who am I kidding?Invisible forces and visible ones come into play.A stranger comes to town.Someone goes on a trip.Leaving and staying awayis as easy as falling off the face of the earth.But who would want to anyway?So, okay book, but...confused. Less plot, more a series of unconnected and/or unbelievable events.

  • Nathaniel Y.
    2019-03-18 10:42

    Book Title: As Easy as Falling off the Face of the EarthAuthor: Lynne Rae Perkins# of pages: 352Genre: FictionThis is a story about a boy named Ry. Ry is on a train in Montana, his parents are sailing in the Carribean, and he gets off the train to make a phone call. He climbs up a hill to get better reception, but then realizes the train is moving again. He trys to get to the train but it's gone already. He sees a town in the distance and walks to it. There he meets a man named Del, who more or less "adopts" him. Del wants to drive back (with Ry) to Ry's house in Wisconsin. When they get there, Ry's grandpa, who lives at Ry's house, is missing. Ry wants to tell his parents about his grandpa, but they lost their cell phone on an island in the Carribean. Del drives Ry to Florida, where he knows someone with a homemade plane, who flies them to San Juan. Then Ry and Del borrow a sailboat from a friend, and they float aroud trying to find his parents. They find them, but Ry's mom faints when she sees Ry. In the end, they all find Ry's grandpa and go home.The character I would like to have as my friend is Del because he is very kind and helps without asking. An example from the book is, on page 289, "You're like, 'Howdy ma'am, do you have any broken appliances? Excuse me while I rewire your toaster quick-a-minute.' Zipzapzoop, blow on your fingers, walk into the sunset. 'Oh, you need a ride to the other side of the world? I was just going there.'" (This is Ry talking to Del.) Another reason I would like this character is because he is a very unique character. Another example from the book is "Delwyn is a man who likes to--how should I say it--he likes to rise to the occasion. Like driving you home all the way to Wisconsin [from Montana]." on page 95.I really liked the part when Ry sees his parents on the boat and swims over to them because almost everything leads up to finding his parents. It was so relieving and joyful to see it happen, and also surprising when his mom faints when she sees him.

  • Dale Bystrak
    2019-02-24 09:41

    I did not like the book because it was way to detailed. Now having a little detail is ok, but having way to much where you make chapters of you just describing things is something I am not very fond of. The book is about a boy from Wisconsin named Ry, who is on a trip to a camp. On his way there he gets off of a train to have a bathroom break. When he gets back the train starts leaving and he cannot catch up, and is lost in the hill of Montana. He try's to contact his grandpa because his parents are on a trip in San Juan. He is trying to find a town he when he arrives at a small town named New Peche { accent on the e just so you know :-) } and wanders around a little bit. He find a guys working on a abstract car outside his house and watches him. The man by the name of Del, greets him and takes him out for a bite to eat. Ry passes out on the couch and the next day goes to a ranch and meets some of Del's coworkers. One of his coworkers, Beth, convinces Del to take Ry back to his house, because he has lost contact with his grandpa who has fell in a sinkhole behind there house. Ry arrives at Wisconsin and cannot find his grandfather. So then he makes his way over to one of Del's old friends named Sharon who has a son named Miles which in my opinion was very unnecessary of the book. Basically what happened there is Ry was walking, broke the floor, they fixed it and started back on the trip to Florida. They ride a boat to San Juan and Del got injured on the boat which he arrived at from a guy named Carl, and then they got lost in the ocean for ever and probably died, but I didn't know because they ended with them in the ocean. It was the worst cliffhanger of all time and the book was way to descriptive in my opinion. There were many things in the book that really didn't need to be there and had unnecessary details. I liked the fact of adventure and trying to find people and the irony at sometimes in the story. I would recommend this book to people that like realistic-fiction with a lot of details but this book just was not my speed.

  • Janet
    2019-03-10 11:54

    15-year-old Ry suffers (or is that "endures"?, or is that "enjoys"?) an astonishing, off-the-wall summer, a relentless barrage of calamities and adventures that starts - only just starts - when he disembarks from a passenger train en route from Wisconsin to a summer camp somewhere west of Montana (where he disembarks, in the middle of nowhere, to try to find some cell phone reception, because he has just, belatedly, read a letter informing him the camp has been canceled...) and the train takes off without him. Lucky(?) for Ry, he soon falls in with Del, a kind-hearted, footloose adventurer who takes on getting Ry home as a sort of mission. Hilarity, squirminess, much slapstick, and a little tragedy ensue. I loved, LOVED, this crazy book, though I'm not sure who its audience is besides me. I so admire Perkins' exquisite writing, her lovely prose and sweet turns of phrase while depicting broadly humorous, pratfall-style situations, so incongruous and satisfying. I found myself reading passages aloud to my husband so frequently that I ended up just reading the second half of the book to him (which, as it happened, helped us both survive driving through a bad snowstorm with our equanimity more-or-less intact, but that's our own misadventure). I have a couple quibbles, related to Perkins' juggling of several plot lines: Ry's grandfather's story didn't make a lot of sense to me, and the author ill-served Del's muse/combatant/soulmate Yulia, telling rather than showing that she is stunning in every way, such that I just had to take it on faith that she is stunning at all. On the other hand, the dogs' story, told mostly in sequential graphic form, is nearly as good as Ry's. Read this. Be ready to suspend some disbelief. This story might be unlikely. But impossible? I wouldn't say impossible...

  • Angela
    2019-03-09 10:43

    Part of Adventures in Reading post on Bewitched Bookworms.I read five books. In five days. This was one of them. =) Ry stood and watched the train pull off into the distance leaving him in the middle of nowhere, he pondered how he could have possibly gotten there. How had things gone wrong? Little did he know that being left behind by a train was merely the beginning of an incredible summer odyssey.I adore, *heart*, admire, and emphatically love this novel. What seems at first to be a simple story of a lost boy blooms into something grander, something deeper. And the author's playful way of telling the story keeps the reader hooked. Words escape me and I feel I am falling short in this review so I shall leave you with this quote:While he is doing so, a tribute to showers: They are amazing. You could call them "transfromers." Especially if it's been a couple/few days. You feel like a different person afterward, a person who is ready. A person who can take it on. Deal with it. Whatever it might be. This fades over time, but for at least half an hour, everything is within the realm of possibility. For this reason, it may or may not be a good time to make decisions. If you decide to do something big right after a shower, maybe you should wait an hour. Count to 216,000, then decide. I don't know. I'm just saying.Poetry me thinks. Give it a read, please! It's not super-natural. It's not a love story per-say. It's something more... something different. Something good.

  • Leslie
    2019-03-14 14:34

    It took me three tries to get into Criss Cross, and I wasn't sure I would ever love this author. It took me about four seconds to get into this book, and I loved it! Quirky, funny, and tender. Ry's way of dealing with his ever-increasingly desperate situation is cute and sweet, while at the same time being totally believable. Love the other characters that weave in and out of the story as well. Mostly I love the narrator's voice and style. SO much fun. This book is a series of unfortunate events that doesn't end up making you want to slit your wrists. As Ry says about losing hope, "What good would that do?" None. So he picks up and tries again. Makes a ton of (sometimes) catastrophic mistakes, but it all works out in the end. Which is pretty much what we're all looking for, I think.Also, I know I complained about the animals' voices in "A Nest for Celeste," and Perkins does kind of the same thing--we hear the dogs' thoughts and feelings sometimes--but she does it so well! The dogs think doglike thoughts, or thoughts one might imagine a dog thinking if they could communicate like we could. I thought it was brilliantly done. I don't like the same author to win a Newbery twice too close together, but this book really spoke to me, and I believe it will speak to a lot of kids. I hope it gets an honorable mention. I'd be thrilled if it won a Printz.

  • Mary
    2019-03-26 16:02

    Right off the bat, let me say that I liked this novel so much better than Criss Cross, Perkins's Newbery Medal winning effort. It succeeds where Criss Cross failed, namely in conveying the serendipitous nature of self-discovery, largely through the power of adventure story. The main character, a likable teenager named Ry, has incredibly bad luck from page one, when he steps off a train trying to find cell reception and ends up stranded in the middle of Montana. He has just read a letter from the summer camp he's supposed to be attending telling him NOT to come--the program is cancelled. Meanwhile, there's bad luck on other fronts as well--his parents, on a Caribbean sailing adventure, encounter mechanical problems and lose their cell phones, so they're out of contact. The grandfather who is supposed to be minding the house and dogs, has a fall and ends up with a concussion, so he's off the radar, too. Luckily Ry literally runs into Del, a stubborn handyman who doesn't mind an adventure and offers to drive Ry back across the country to find out why his grandfather isn't answering the phone. Del then accompanies Ry on a trip to the Caribbean as well to suss out Ry's parents.All in all, this is one marvelous adventure; the plot-driven nature of the story will keep all readers turning the pages. Highly recommended for grades 6 & up.

  • Cornmaven
    2019-03-05 09:45

    I loved this book. It's a sort of road trip/journey combined with a look at coincidence and letting things happen as they happen. The narrator injects herself into the story, and you feel as if the characters are watching themselves move through the story just as you are watching them.There's action but it just flows along like a river and you are caught up in it. Three improbably stories going on at the same time, plus a side story about dogs who are also included in the other stories. I think the dogs' story is supposed to show you how living in the moment really works.I loved the way Perkins explained concepts and situations that MS-HS kids might not have experienced yet. Example - one character's almost imperceptible smile - she tells the reader to go watch The Good The Bad and The Ugly and then you would understand.Perkins' descriptions of things could be used in a writing class, easily. And I think as a "let's kick back and just enjoy a good book read aloud" it would work well. I laughed out loud a number of times, and I stayed up late to finish it. Her wit was very subtle and dry. And much about the character of Del reminded me so much of my dad, the part about being able to fix anything, and wanting to whenever the fixing needed to be done. Highly recommended.

  • Nicole
    2019-03-19 09:34

    The thing you have to know about me is that I don't like fairy tales, folk tales or any other story in which things just sort of happen. The evil witch suddenly appears. The prince just barely misses the princess in the woods.So this book was hard for me to buy into. He misses his train and just happens to meet the perfect adult companion. Just happens to have access to a car, boat, and plane. Just happens to be in love with a woman close to where his parents are. Just happens to break his leg, to miss the boat, to bump his head, to wander off, to all work out in the end.Now if you have not read the book, my "review" is not going to make much sense. But once you read it, you'll get my point...though perhaps you will not agree with me. Because most people LIKE fairy tales and the movie Serendipity and "just happen to..." moments.Nutshell: a decent (boy) book. Adventure and introspection. A slightly annoying intruding narrator.Best quote: he's nervous about falling overboard and "bobbing like a crouton in sharky broth".

  • Tracy
    2019-03-20 11:57

    Umm, if I were a teenager I would probably love this. As a parent...totally appalled. 15 year old Ry is on his way to summer camp, via train while his parents take an island vacation and his grandfather stays home to watch the dogs. The train has a slight mechanical problem and Ry steps off to try to get a signal on his cell to make some phone calls. Train leaves without him. Cue mishaps.Ry hooks up with Del, who decides it would be best to drive him across the country to get him back home. No phone calls to the police. Sigh. Ry can't get in touch with his parents who lost their cell phone in the rain forest and he can't get in touch with his grandfather who slipped while walking the dogs and can't remember who he is. So, yeah, let's drive cross country with a total stranger.The book was cute, as far as advetures go. (Heck, in that case, it was non-stop.) But it was a little slow and after a while, you just kept thinking "Really??" (Say that saracastically and you'll get my tone.) Thankfully, Ry hooks up with the right kind of person. But I warn you: if you are a parent don't read this book.