There are two things you can count on in a book by Joan Bauer. One, it will make you laugh. And two, the girl who is telling the story will be really good at something, but not something you'd expect. In Squashed, Ellie wins the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-In. In Rules of the Road, which won the Golden Kite Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction, Jenna Boller is a whiz at selling shoes. In Backwater, Ivy Breedlove resists being good at the family tradition. For many generations the Breedloves have been successful lawyers. Among her loud and argumentative relatives, however, Ivy feels like "a goldfish swimming in a tank stocked with snapping turtles--it's hard to keep a lasting presence." Instead, Ivy is in love with history, especially the family history she is compiling. But a large piece is missing. Many years ago, her father's sister Josephine went away to be a hermit in the mountains, and ever since, the rest of the family has referred to her scornfully as "stuck in the backwater." Ivy, convinced that this "different" aunt holds the secret to her own differentness, sets out in a snowstorm to find Jo, with the help of backslapping, slogan-spouting wilderness guide Mountain Mama. Along the way she meets with a lot more adventure and understanding than she ever anticipated--not to mention snagging an excellent boyfriend. (Ages 12 to 16) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
In this compelling, though ultimately uneven outing, Bauer (Rules of the Road) travels to a literal and emotional backwater, navigating the strong ties that bind-and have the potential to choke-a proud but dysfunctional family. For generations, the Breedloves have been respected lawyers in the community, and it's been expected-nearly demanded-that 16-year-old Ivy will follow in their footsteps. But Ivy feels driven to become a historian and, as her first major project, she undertakes the task of compiling the Breedlove genealogy. As the family gathers for the holidays, Ivy's time-saving Aunt Fiona (she has her own TV show, It's About Time) skims through the family history with a video camera. But Ivy determines that, to make the family tree complete, she must locate long-lost Aunt Josephine, her father's rebellious sister. Her search leads her to the Adirondacks, where she comes face-to-face with not only Josephine, but Ivy's own fears about life as a Breedlove. In the best passages, Bauer's characters crackle with eccentricity and exhibit glimmers of intense emotion. Mountaineering fans will also thrill at the wintry, rugged scenery. But in the end, readers may feel Ivy's adventure-and the extreme avenues taken by Josephine-to be too far-fetched. Ages 12-up. (May)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This was definitely one of the greatest books that I've ever read. If you're a female looking for a good read check out Backwater about a girl trying desperately to get her father... Read morePublished on Nov. 9 2003
While reading Backwater, I couldn't put it down. It kept me entertained, and also gave a special lesson to what is important in life.Published on July 24 2003 by Jessling
This moving adventurous book is about a girl seaking for the missing link in there family. Ivy loves history but is brought up in a family of lawers. Read morePublished on Nov. 14 2002
Usually I'm a fan of Joan Bauer books. But this one I couldn't even force myself to finish. It wasn't the story itself--at least, I don't think. Read morePublished on Nov. 13 2002 by G. Guzman
This book is about this girl who wants to find her aunt that no one talks about. It has a great thrill to it. Read morePublished on March 24 2002
Ivy's living in a family full of lawyers, and they all want her to become a lawyer too. She doesn't want that. She wants to become a historian. Read morePublished on Feb. 9 2002
I bought this book for my 10-year-old son after he enjoyed another Joan Bauer book, Hope Was Here. Backwater is a wonderful story of a girl, Ivy, who is sensitive and does not fit... Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2002 by Greg Markway
I really enjoyed this book. I could relate to both the story and the character of Ivy Breedlove. We all feel out of place in the our families sometimes, but not everyone gets the... Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2001 by Andrea
This is a fantastic book. Those of you who have enjoyed other Joan Bauer books will not be disappointed. Ivy's story is unique and relatable at the same time. Read morePublished on Nov. 23 2001 by Maggie