How to ruin a summer vacation in three words:
Train. Family. TOGETHERNESS.
Dear Mr. Levitt,
I’m really sorry I wrote three hundred pages for my summer journal. I never meant to write so much, I promise. I planned on hanging out with my best friends, finalizing our Reinvention Project before middle school, and maybe starting my novel, if I could ever come up with an idea.
But look on the bright side…you only have to read it. I had to live through the whole thing.
Sara Johnston-Fischer loves her family, of course. But that doesn’t mean she’s thrilled when her summer plans are upended for a surprise cross-country train trip with her two moms, her younger sister Ladybug, her older sister Laurel, and Laurel’s poncho-wearing activist boyfriend Root. And to make matters worse, one of her moms is writing a book about the trip…and that means allllll about it, highlighting every ridiculous and embarrassing moment of Sara’s life.
Sara winds up criss-crossing the country with a gaggle of wild Texans, from New Orleans to Chicago to the Grand Canyon and beyond. But as they travel, Sara finds herself changing along with the landscape outside the train windows. And she realizes that she just might come home reinvented after all.
In this companion to The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, the Fletchers head to their beloved Rock Island, a tiny island out to sea where everything stays the same…until this year. With the lighthouse threatened, the Fletcher boys and their new friends have to confront changes in themselves and the island they love.
The Fletchers are back on Rock Island, home of all their best summer memories. Romping in the surf, biking the windy shore roads, and catching crabs are just a few of the island’s delights. And best of all is the Rock Island Lighthouse, right next door and theirs to explore, year after year. But from their first day on the island it’s clear that this year, things have changed.
And Sam, Jax, Eli, and Frog Fletcher can’t quite believe their eyes.
FIRST, a giant fence is blocking their beloved lighthouse, which has always been open to the public. Why is it closed? And what is the For Sale sign doing there?
SECOND, there are new neighbors, Valerie and Alex Gallindo. Kids next door might be okay, if they’re not totally annoying. But first impressions are not looking good…
THIRD, who the heck is Chase Kark and why does he want to buy the lighthouse? (And why does he wear such weird green shorts all the time)?
And FOURTH, there’s now an ice cream truck on Rock Island! (Okay, that one’s pretty awesome. But still, it’s totally different).
Add a dose of Shakespeare, a very tippy kayak, a video camera, and (maybe, possibly, or not) a swimming cat, and the recipe for a crazy summer is complete. Sam, Jax, Eli, and Frog’s time on Rock Island is not at all what they expected. Can Rock Island remain the same, even with all these transformations? For the Fletcher boys, and even for Papa and Dad, the summer brings new changes, both in themselves and the island they love.
“A much-anticipated reunion with friends from whom I had been away for too long. Heroes, villains, mystery, tradition, family, and the ocean…the new Fletcher novel is another pure delight!” — Christopher Rose, bookseller and teacher
“I got to devour The Fletcher Family Takes Rock Island. What a delight! I love this story…I’m going to be handselling it to everyone this summer.” — Sarah Rettger, bookseller
“An old-fashioned summer adventure set in a very modern world, this lively family tale will leave readers impatient for more.” —Kirkus Reviews starred review
AVAILABLE NOW! To get your very own signed copy, possibly with fun things such as bookmarks or stickers stuck inside, order from Jabberwocky Bookshop. Or, if you don’t really need my signature, head over to your local bookstore, or check out the links below.
“Fans of Beverly Cleary’s Quimbys, Judy Blume’s Hatchers, and, more recently, Jeanne Birdsall’s Penderwicks will fervently hope that more Fletcher misadventures are yet to come.”–School Library Journal (starred)
Meet the Fletchers: four boys, two dads, and one new neighbor who just might ruin everything.
Sam, age 12
Mostly interested in soccer. And food. And his phone.
Jax, age 10
Psyched for fourth grade. Thinks the new neighbor stinks, and not just because of the skunk.
Eli, age 10 (but younger than Jax)
Delighted to be starting this year at the Pinnacle School, where everyone’s “the smart kid.”
Frog (not his real name), age 6
Wants his new friends at kindergarten to save a seat for his invisible cheetah.
The start of the school year is not going as hoped for the Fletcher brothers. Their miserable new neighbor, Mr. Nelson, complains about everything. Even worse, each boy finds his plans for school success veering off in unexpected directions. As the year continues, the boys learn the hard and often hilarious lesson that sometimes what you least expect is what you come to care about the most.
From camping trips to scary tales told in the dark, from new schools to old friends, from imaginary cheetahs to very real skunks, the Fletchers’ school year—as always—is anything but boring.
“The Fletcher family rules!” – Kirkus, starred review
“Not since Jeanne Birdsall’s National Book Award-winning “The Penderwicks’’ has there been such an instantly likeable and charming fictional foursome of children as in Dana Alison Levy’s debut novel, “The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher.’’ […] Levy is a natural-born story-teller, who handles her tale with deft pacing and subtle comic timing. There are no great surprises here, no tragedies, just the beautiful unfolding of chapter after chapter.” –The Boston Globe
To get your very own signed copy, possibly with fun things such as bookmarks or stickers stuck inside, order from Jabberwocky Bookshop. Or, if you don’t really need my signature, head over to your local bookstore. Or check out the links below.
“While “The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher” seems like the perfect book for children with two fathers or mothers, Levy’s underlying message has broad appeal: No matter who your parents are, or what their sex, no matter what you look like or whether or not you were adopted, your family, and everyone else’s, is absolutely crazy. And that’s just as it should be.” – The New York Times