"I read someplace that takeoffs and landings are the most dangerous part...."
After Chuck and Lori's father died in a tractor accident, their mother unexpectedly found a career as a motivational speaker. Since then, Mom has spent most of her time flying across the country for speaking engagements, leaving Chuck and Lori behind with their three younger siblings on their grandparents' Ohio farm.
Eight years after the accident, Chuck and Lori barely know their mother anymore, much less themselves: Chuck is perpetually self-conscious and awkward, while Lori can barely hide her resentment of her mother's absence. Now Mom is going on another speaking tour. But this trip is different: Chuck and Lori are coming with her.
As soon as their first plane takes off, Chuck and Lori start the painful process of reconnecting with Mom. Through an emotional two weeks of flying around the country, the taboo subject of Dad's accident is finally broached, and all three begin to understand themselves and one another in ways that they had not expected. By the final landing back in Ohio, it is clear that none of them will ever be the same.
Award-winning author Margaret Peterson Haddix delivers another tour de force in which the examination of a family in turmoil resonates with truth. Takeoffs and landings may be the most dangerous parts of a trip, but as Mom says, they can also be the best.