on February 8th 2011
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Three siblings - India, Finn, and Mouse - have less than forty-eight hours to pack up all their belongings and fly, without Mom, to their uncle Red's in Colorado, after they lose their house to foreclosure. But when they land, a mysterious driver meets them at the airport, and he's never heard of Uncle Red. Like Dorothy in Oz, they find themselves in a place they've never heard of, with no idea of how to get home, and time is running out.
In a total departure, Gennifer Choldenko tells a story of adventure and survival, set in a fantastical place with rules all its own. Sharp dialogue, high stakes, and taut action make this a book that will stick with you long after you read the incredible ending..
When India, Finn and Mouse are forced to leave to live with their uncle, they find themselves getting off on the wrong stop. The only problem is, they don't know it until it's almost too late. Still reeling from losing their home and leaving their mother behind, they find themselves fitting right into this new town that has the perfect mom and house for everyone. Finn finds himself questioning where they really are, as there is no sign of Uncle Red and gets Mouse on track with finding a way back home, or even to Uncle Red's.
The only problem is that India feels like she has finally found a place where she feels completely at home. She's not sure that she wants to leave at all. But none of them can leave without all three willing to go back. Will Finn and Mouse be able to convince India that this is not the place where they belong?
I listened to this one on audio and really enjoyed the narration and the flow of the story. I found myself making excuses to finish the audiobook while cleaning and working around my apartment. I really connected with Finn's character and found Mouse to be adorable. Even India had her good points and it was nice to listen to more of their viewpoints throughout the book, getting a better glimpse into their characters.
Final Verdict: A great middle grade novel with the right mix of fantasy and family relationships.