4 starred reviews! "Heartbreaking, hilarious, and life-affirming" (Ami Polonsky, author of Gracefully Grayson and Threads)
Rydr is on a train heading east, leaving California, where her gramma can’t take care of her anymore, and traveling to Chicago, to live with an unknown relative. She brings with her a backpack, memories both happy and sad, and a box containing something very important.
As Rydr meets her fellow passengers and learns their stories, her own story begins to emerge. It’s one of sadness and heartache, and one Rydr would sometimes like to forget.
But as much as Rydr may want to run away from her past, on the train she finds that hope and forgiveness are all around her, and most importantly, within her, if she’s willing to look for it.
From Publishers Weekly Flying Start author Paul Mosier comes a poignant story about a young girl’s travels by train from Los Angeles to Chicago in which she learns along the way that she can find family wherever she is. Perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead and Sharon Creech.
★ “A harrowing, moving, immersive, and ultimately uplifting debut novel.”
★ “In this debut novel, Mosier gives middle grade readers a character who battles life’s challenges with extreme honesty and doesn’t sugarcoat her inner battles. A tale that will stay with readers long after they reach the final destination.”
★ “In his first novel, Mosier offers a cast of well-drawn characters, an unusual setting, and a rewarding reading experience.”
★ “An emotionally expansive and deeply affecting story. Heartbreaking and unforgettable.”
“Rydr herself is sympathetic, and she’s got a believable voice, a mix of vulnerability, edginess, and raw fury at her rotten luck. Readers who like drama, sentiment, and tidy, tearful endings may find this to be the ticket.”