Synopses & Reviews
The note Momma left on the fridge says only: “I HAVE TO GO.” But go where? Twelve-year-old Margie is convinced that Mommas gone to the Rooster Romp at the International Poultry Hall of Fame, in search of additions to her precious flock of chicken memorabilia. And its up to Margie to bring her home. So she commandeers her daddys Faithful Ford, kidnaps her nine-year-old sister, Peep, and takes to the open road.
As she navigates the back roads of Kentucky with smarty-pants Peep criticizing her every move, Margie also travels along the highways and byways of her heart, mapping a course to help understand Momma—and herself.
"Brown's first novel, following her picture book debut, Soar, Elinor! (2010), combines pathos and humor for an emotionally resonant story. Twelve-year-old Margie Jenkins, as sympathetic a criminal as any in children's literature, relates events that follows the discovery of a note from her mother which reads in its entirety, 'I have to go.' Margie and her sister, Peep, know this is serious: Momma's collection of chicken-themed canisters has vanished, too. Aching to be the hero in a family where she is outshined by her 'super salesman' father and by Peep who, 'spilling smart right and left,' has been promoted from third to sixth grade, Margie steals her father's Ford and drives to the International Poultry Hall of Fame, where she's sure they'll find their mother. Momma's character feels incomplete, but Margie's relationships with Peep and her father, bruised by Peep's ascendance in her father's favor, are authentically sad. The lack of resolution may frustrate some readers, but Margie winds up in a better place, having figured out that, like Momma, she needs to map her own course, instead of measuring herself against someone else. Ages 8 12. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Tami Lewis Brown is the author of the picture book Soar, Elinor!, illustrated by François Roca. She holds an M.F.A. in writing for children from Vermont College and lives in Washington, D.C. The Map of Me is her first novel.