On Resource Links Best Books of 2009 list
An opportunity to escape a dull summer - and perhaps to find a future for herself after high school - persuades Rainey Williamson to join a school-sponsored program that will take her and five other teenagers on an eight-week road trip across Canada. The challenge of this journey is heightened, in view of the fact that Rainey has had to wear an artificial leg from birth. On the eve of her getaway, a crucial complication arises: she finds out that the mother who left when she was just a few months old is alive and well and living in Squamish, B.C., directly on the route of the student expedition. What's more, her mother now wants to see her.
Rainey's ambivalent at the prospect, to say the least. The cross-country trip begins, and she soon meets the others who become friends and comrades, all with issues and challenges to deal with. Rainey discovers her own strengths as she struggles with the decision about whether or not to meet her mother and figuring out what she might do with her life. In the end she discovers that her family tree is more extensive than she'd thought - and that taking chances provides perspective, opportunity, and a springboard from which to launch her future - and even a way back home.
The story is laced with Heather Waldorf's customary sharp intelligence and sense of humour - and her understanding of the themes teenagers are most engaged with.