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Backwater [Paperback]

Joan Bauer
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 8.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

June 7 2005

Ivy doesn't want to be a lawyer. Who cares?-well, her father, for starters, who expects his daughter to take up the Breedlove family profession with dedication and enthusiasm. What Ivy wants to be is a historian, a vocation that's getting quite a workout as she prepares a family history in honor of her beloved great-aunt Tib's eightieth birthday. As in Bauer's Rules of the Road, the central story is of a journey: Ivy hikes into the wilds of the Adirondacks to find her reclusive aunt Jo-and to find her own destiny as well. Persistent, mouthy, and good, Ivy is an admirable heroine who will be familiar to Bauer fans; older female friends (including Tib, Aunt Jo, and wilderness expert Mountain Mama) are equally attractive if given to message-laden dialogue. In fact, the book could have used less preaching and more story overall, but Ivy is such a darned fine gal that readers will be glad to make her acquaintance.

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From Amazon

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.

From Publishers Weekly

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I knelt in the snow in front of my great-great-great-great-grandfather's gravestone, took my bristle brush and cleaned the surface, working the bristles deep into each engraved letter. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books of all times Nov. 9 2003
By A Customer
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 to understand that she's not just like the rest of her family. On a trip to meet her hermit aunt she ends up learning important life lessons about herself!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great read July 24 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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hey Don't Leave This In The Backwater! Nov. 15 2002
By A Customer
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. Ivy is working on a family history project. She tells her family that she is going to find her missing anut. No one takes her seriouy but her dad decides to let her go anyways. Ivy goes on an adventure to find her anut with a crazy moutain guide. This book has a great adventure stroy line to it but also tells you the real meaning of what family can mean to someone.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not Great At All Nov. 13 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. The grammar was absolutely horrendous. I don't know if this book skipped the editor and they had a fourth grader type it, but there were mistakes on every page. I found it so frustrating I only made it halfway through.
If you can stand the grammatical errors, you may enjoy this book--Joan Bauer has proven herself to be a good writer in the past. But the difficulty reading this book overpowers the story that may be there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Caught me and Kept me stuck! July 6 2002
This book is one of the best books I've ever read! It's about a 16 year old girl named Ivy Breedlove. Stuck in a family of lawyers Ivy feels like a goldfish in a tank full of snapping turtles. Ivy hates the idea of studying law and would like to be a historn to study, learn, and revile the past. Ivy has 6 monthes to work on a family project, just in time for her Great Anut Tib's birhtday. She used to be working on this with her Great Anut Tib but than Tib's eye sight got bad and it was up to Ivy. Ivy knew that there was so much to go...
collecting more stories
more photos to look at and...
finding out more about the Anut no one will talk about. Ivy REALLY needs to find this anut and isn't going to stop till she does. This all leads to her going up a tall mountain with her father telling her to stop. Ivy has one of the best wildreness in town giving Ivy a discount if her story of finding her anut could be used in a book she wants to become a best seller. When Ivy arrives she has 3 days to find out about her anut, 3 days to figure it out, 3 days to unrivile the mystery. Than there's the accident...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Backwater March 24 2002
By A Customer
This book is about this girl who wants to find her aunt that no one talks about. It has a great thrill to it. Ivy who is in a mountain with her aunt who has about 1,000 birds and dosent talk.
If you are looking at this write now dont just read, go read the book!! you should read it its a thriller! book or m
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really good book. Feb. 10 2002
By A Customer
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. She's making a family tree of the Breedlove family and she finds a missing aunt, Josephine. Nobody in her family will talk about Josephine except for Tib. Her whole family says that Jo is "stuck in the Backwater." Ivy wants to talk to her aunt so she goes on a hunt into the mountains to find her with some help from Mountain Mama. It's a very good story and it has humor, adventure, and a little romance. Joan Bauer writes another great story!!!
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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 in with her family of aggressive lawyers.
Ivy is looking into her family history when she finds that her aunt Josephine is a hermit up in the mountains. The more Ivy learns about her aunt, the more she recognizes that they are kindred spirtits, and Ivy sets out to find her aunt. Ivy finds a wilderness guide to lead her to Josephine.
Joan Bauer shows a marvelous understanding of the sensitive soul of Josephine. Along the way, Ivy finds strength in herself that she never knew existed, and this strength helps transform her entire family.
Backwater teaches the importance of finding your own talents and celebrating them. I am a practicing psychologist, and I will be recommending this book to my patients from 10 years through adulthood.
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