The Wanderer

ISBN: 0439316294
ISBN 13: 9780439316293
By: Sharon Creech

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Reader's Thoughts

Cheryl in CC NV

The cover didn't draw me in for some reason, and this book sat on my shelf for too long. Thank goodness for the Summer Reading Challenge in Aussie Readers for pushing me to pick it up. Turns out it's another excellent story by Creech, plenty of storms & sailing drama as well as family & personal mysteries. In other words, a journey across the Atlantic, and journeys of the spirit, too.

Rebecca Payton

Sharon Creech is one of my favorite authors, I love the detail she adds in her book. Sharon adding detail into her book puts imagery in my head, making me want to never put the book down!This book is about a girl who has always wanted to sail the oceans and seas, and her dream finally comes true. She goes sailing with her family members and everything is going good, until a horrible storm comes through. I recommend this book to anybody who likes adventure books.


Didn't hook me--but then again, I'm an adult now. Walk Two Moons was my most favorite book for much of my early adolescence, and still when I read it again I find it very rich, layered, and amazing. I didn't get past the beginning of this one, though, mostly because my disbelief wasn't suspended that this 13 year old girl "had to" sail the sea. Maybe the reasons why she "had to" were upcoming, I don't know. I just thought that since sailing the ocean is a pretty time, cost, and privilege intensive activity that it wouldn't be considered something that the actual SOUL unshakably requires. I mean, if I had a 13 year old kid and they told me they "had to" sail the sea, I would tell them "Nope, sorry," and they would simply have to move onto something else. That's how real life usually works except for the ultra-rich, which these characters didn't strike me as... I'm sure I wanted to do crazy things when I was 13, too, but my parents didn't just LET me. That's my main beef. The other is that the writing style seemed to be a less believable and more hollow imitation of that of Walk Two Moons. And it kind of sets out to be the same kind of story, but that show just can't be followed!

Adriane Devries

This novel for young adults was a gentle, sweet read for me, so reminiscent of my own childhood spent sailing all weekends and holidays with my parents. In these pages you too can enjoy a marvelously visceral ocean adventure, with salty sea air you can feel in the back of your throat, dolphins skimming playfully alongside, mystical whale sightings, and a rollicking storm at sea—all from the dysfunctional safety of the Wanderer, a marvelously flawed, always-needing-repair sailboat that perfectly embodies any family, or any other motley crew of people on the voyage of life together. Told through the viewpoint of a teenage boy and his younger girl cousin, whose mysterious past threatens to engulf her, the voyage across the ocean to visit their beloved grampa in his quaint seaside English cottage yields much healing and growth for every member aboard. Just like any other family starting out with the best of intentions, when flawed reality sets in we must allow our forged relationships with each other to challenge and mold us for the better. Bravo!

Haley Evans

Sophie joins her two cousins and three uncles on a journey across the ocean in a sail boat, The Wanderer. They are going to see Bompie, her grandfather, in England. As the only female on the trip, Sophie feels the need to prove herself. Through the fights, storms, and stories, the trip brings both memories and realizations for all of the characters. Will Bompie know Sophie? Does Cody know how to act serious? What happened to Sophie's family?I liked this book, but it didn't hook me or make me never want to set it down. It gets more interesting as you read it. It is a good book for middle school students, especially ones that can relate to Sophie or Cody.

Alexa SOF2014

The Wave by, Todd Strasser is about a teacher named Ben Ross who makes an experiment to show the kids in his class what it was really like to be a Nazi. In beginning of the book Mr. Ross shows the kids a movie about the Holocaust. This was shocking and horrifying for them. Mr. Ross explains to the class that only ten percent of the population was Nazi’s at this time but everyone was afraid to stand up to the leader, Adolf Hitler. The next day he writes STRENGTH THROUGH DISCIPLINE on the blackboard. Students are required to sit up straight, and when answering questions, stand by their desks and spit out the answers. This was the start of the movement called “The Wave”. Weeks go by and the experiment is still going on. Many parents begin to get mad at Mr. Ross because all of their children are losing what makes them different from one another. Each child had to sit together at lunch and do the same things. By the end of the book Ben Ross has an assembly to tell the kids “The Wave” was over. The reason why he ended it was because everyone lost his or her originality and the experiment was way too successful. In The Wave the Ben Ross’s wife never liked the idea of having the movement. I agreed with her when she said that the kids were loosing their originality. At the beginning of the book when Mr. Ross first started the experiment it was a good idea but by the end I did not agree with what he was doing. I really liked reading The Wave by, Todd Strasser because it was really interesting and captivating to watch the transformation of the kids from before the movement and after. This book made me realize that we are very fortunate to live in a country where independent thinking is encouraged. In Nazi Germany the masses and the group mentality was encouraged. When we think back on it we noticed that it was a horrible time in the world.

Naomi Ls

This book was pretty good. It was about a girl who sailed around the world with her father, her Uncle, and one of her cousin. They were sailing to this place Bompie. Also the girl Sophie her mom gave her a journal to write about the trip and Sophie did write in it. This book had great detail and the author explained herself really well. I also could understand every parts and chapters of the book. The only thing I didn't like was that some chapters were one page long and some were very long, but other than that it was pretty good. I would recommend this book if you like sailing and if you don't then try to read the book and see if you might like it. I thought I wouldn't like it, but it turned out to be REALLY good!!!This book was pretty good. It was about a girl who sailed around the world with her father, her Uncle, and one of her cousin. They were sailing to this place Bompie. Also the girl Sophie her mom gave her a journal to write about the trip and Sophie did write in it. This book had great detail and the author explained herself really well. I also could understand every parts and chapters of the book. The only thing I didn't like was that some chapters were one page long and some were very long, but other than that it was pretty good. I would recommend this book if you like sailing and if you don't then try to read the book and see if you might like it. I thought I wouldn't like it, but it turned out to be REALLY good!!!

Myra Khan

Read this when I was 11, loved it back then! :)


** spoiler alert ** the wanderer was a book in which a girl named sophie went sailing with her uncles and cousins, when a major wave hits their boat (called the wanderer, hence the name of the book). everyone has to push to survive. the tragic tale of sophie's parent's death is told, when sophie mixes up her adopted grandpa's with her own. i thought that it was cool, because the book was in a journal-like format. at the beginning of each chapter, there was a piece of modern art, and whether sophie or her cousin cody was telling the story. although i realize that sophie is the main character, i think that cody should have more entries into the book. i thought that his perspective was very intersting and i would have enjoyed to hear more of him. i found that the uncles who knew of sophie's parent's death seemed to be "milking" the death -as in it was VERY sad. when i finally found out, it didn't seem too bad (they drowned and sophie was left floating in the water). in other words, they overworked it. overall, a sad sea tale that was unlike anything i've read.


Walk Two Moons & Chasing Redbird, both by Sharon Creech, are two of my favorite junior fiction books. The Wanderer did not disappoint. Knowing that 3/3 books I've read by Creech have been enjoyable, I want to read all of her other books, too!


The Wanderer by Sharon Creech is an excellent example of a bildungsroman or coming-of-age novel.The protagonist of the story is 13 year old Sophie. She narrates most chapters with the occasional viewpoint from her cousin Cody. The alternating viewpoint is necessary to the story, as the reader finds out pretty early on that Sophie isn't exactly a reliable narrator. Sophie loves the sea. She wants to spend the summer sailing with her three uncles and two cousins on a trip across the ocean to visit their grandfather who is known as Bompie. They make several stops along the way, but the majority of the book is spent on a small sailboat. The character relationships in this book really drive the plot along. This is the second time I've read this book. The first time I was probably 12 or 13 and I loved it. I still loved it this time but for different reasons. When I was younger, I loved Cody. I also loved Sophie's stories, and I felt like the ending was the perfect mix of resolution and surprise. As an adult, I loved the lack of description when it came to the characters. When I was kid, I believe I read the book with the three floating faces cover. This cover is much better. You see, Creech never describes the characters. They could all be white, but they could all be black or Asian or Native American or any conceivable race. It's kind of nice being able to imagine different options. Although it surely doesn't help with what I'm gonna call the "Hunger Games Factor". As you might know from other posts of mine, the Hunger Games Factor is where authors are vague in their descriptions and characters are white-washed in movies as a result. Of courses Collins was nowhere near as vague as Creech is and almost all the characters in the Hunger Games ended up being white. The Wanderer was a great book and I'm glad I gave it a re-read. Favorite Quotations: "I wondered if it was better to know about the bad things in advance and worry about them, or whether it was better not to know, so that you could enjoy yourself.""We are just a floating refuge for lost souls.""[...] I am in one piece physically. Inside, though, I am in many pieces."

Chris Murray

Creech, Sharon. The Wanderer (2000)The sea has always called to 13 year old Sophie so she is determined to sail across the Atlantic in the 45 foot sailboat, The Wanderer, with her 3 uncles and 2 cousins on a trip to visit her grandfather, Bompie, who lives in England. Sophie has many stories about Bompie that she shares with the crew – surprising stories because Sophie has never met Bompie. She was adopted and has only been in the family for 3 years although she refuses to acknowledge this and does not remember a previous life. Along the way the crew encounters all the magic and wonder of the sea as well as the intense danger of storms and one gigantic wave that nearly destroys them and The Wanderer. The shared danger and near death experience draws them closer and allows Sophie to remember flashes of her past life too painful to deal with previously. The book is written in diary form alternating between Sophie and her cousin, Cody, which makes for easy reading and moves the story along quickly. The writing is simple but beautifully realistic in the descriptions of life at sea. This is a good adventure book with plenty of drama and a bit of mystery thrown in that adds an emotional element to the plot. The Wanderer has won numerous awards including the 2001 Newbery. I liked this book and would recommend it because of its readability and action/adventure format. I did not think the cover was exciting enough for the book.


Sharon Creech has a special ability to touch the hearts of young girls. This is a story in which she uses several writing techniques to tell a poignant and powerful story of one young girl searching for her place in the world, and coming to terms with her difficult past. The story is particularly effective in the use of dual diaries, written by Sophie and her cousin Cody, which give the reader two revealing perspectives on the past and the present. Also delightful was the writing technique of Sophie's stories - told with a fable-like eloquence - of her 'memories' of a beloved grandfather. As an adult, I had serious questions aout the wisdom of the decisions made by the adults in the book (allowing Sophie to undertake the cross-Atlantic sail in the first place, not dealing with Sophie's inability to understand and accept her history)but the story is one that speaks well to the imagination and spirit of adventure of young girls. The Wanderer is an excellent choice for Mother/Daughter groups, with many opportunities for discussion on the craft of writing, and the importance of finding one's place in the spectrum of family and the world.


I love this book! I believe I've read it 9 times, and now I'm reading it again! Sharon Creech's writing style is wonderful. She describes ordinary things like waves and boats with a magical quality. I love how Sophie is able to discover things about herself, her past, and her other shipmates, all while traveling across the ocean and making her way to "Bompie." The story is told from the journals of Sophie and her cousin Cody. I love Sophie's poetic entries, with wonder and mystery, but Cody's concrete, short, and concise entries are a good balance, and they help us learn the parts of Sophie's story that she is still trying to discover.The plot is focused on Sophie: what she needs to accept about her past and who she it now, and also where she is headed. But we also learn about Cody, Brian, Dock and Rosalie, the uncles, and Bompie. I actually like how Dock's is the only love story brought into the book. It seemed like Sharon Creech was going to have Cody and Sophie come together, but, during the book, they sort of just become cousins instead, and that's really how it was meant to be.Yes, The Wanderer is another book about a preteen girl discovering her past, but I loved it nonetheless!

Casey Davis

"The Wanderer" is a mysterious-yet adventure filled book about a young girl wanting to sail across the sea. She has been dreaming about doing so ever since she was a small child, and now she finally gets the chance. As she is sailing from the United States all the way to Ireland, and then driving to the UK, she and her family faces many problems. This girl(Sophie) ships on her Uncle Dock's boat, "The Wanderer'. She goes on the cruise with her Uncle Dock, Uncle Stew, Uncle Mo, and Uncle Mo's two kids, Cody and Brian. I would recommend this book to anyone older than 10. It is a great book if you can understand it. Although the book has quite a bit of sailor slang, you can easily pick it up and understand it quite soon. Overall, "The Wanderer" was a great book, and I definitely enjoyed reading it.

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