Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Travels With My Family

Gay, Marie-Louise (Author/Illustrator)
Homel, David (Author)
Groundwood Books 2007. 120 pages
First published: 2006
ISBN: 9780888998330 (paperback)
9781554984664 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Humour

Text Elements:

character, dialogue, multimodal, point of view

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Each chapter of this humorous book brings the reader on a new adventurous holiday with Charlie, younger brother Max and their parents. The book’s long-suffering narrator, Charlie, laments, “So every vacation, my little brother and I have to go with them to some wild, faraway destination where no one else ever goes.”

Charlie presents a wry, observant voice of reason. With patient acceptance of their quirks, he looks out for naïve Max, humours Mom over her scenic raptures and helps clueless Dad with the basics like changing a tire, though he constantly fails to discourage him from heading to the next weird destination. Despite individual idiosyncrasies, this loving family sticks together.

Vivid, imaginative descriptions of locations, people and animals are complemented with light-hearted black-and-white line drawings. “Along with donkeys, there were turkeys in the yard. They took themselves very seriously, walking around with their chests all puffed up like they were presidents of some country.”

The language engages the senses: driving in blistering desert heat with no air conditioning; Hurricane Bob howling outside a shuddering ocean-side cabin; “Grasshoppers taste a little like potato chips.”

Along the way, readers learn how people of other cultures are sometimes much like them.

  •  

    Discuss what makes for a great vacation: Where? With whom? Doing what?

  •  

    Have you ever had an outing go terribly wrong? Was it a family vacation, a car trip or a visit to the mall? Did you feel the way these kids did? Could you have averted the disaster?

  •  

    Write about your dream vacation: the location, who would be with you, the fun activities, etc. What would happen if things went wrong?

  •  

    This author takes readers to many exciting vacation spots. On a teacher-selected site, use search words such as “unusual destinations in the world” to discover unique places you could visit. With this book as a mentor text, write a story based on one of them.

  •  

    Having perused the front and back cover as well as the table of contents, working in small teams, make predictions about each of the nine adventures.

  •  With a partner, choose one of the adventures in the book. Rewrite it as a journal entry from the point of view of someone other than Charlie.
  •  

    Individually, make up your own table of contents with chapter titles that could represent your family adventures. Select one of these and make a comic strip that depicts this particular adventure. Display and read each other’s comic strips. Discuss which adventures were most interesting, surprising or funny!

  •  

    With a partner, create a podcast or poster about one of the vacation destinations in the novel or about another unique tourist destination of your choosing.

  •  

    In a small group, discuss the strangest places for a family to go on vacation. Share any true stories of atypical vacations taken by you or someone you know.

  •  As you read, keep track of all the different places the family visits. Which one(s) would you go to and which one(s) would you avoid? Why?
  •  Write a new chapter as Charlie, describing the family’s next adventure in Krk, Croatia.
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Personal Development