The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson

I love Mary Pearson. Every time I read one of her books I am transported to a new world and closing the book doesn’t always bring me back to reality. Pearson manages to snatch you away from your world and plop you down amidst the strangest of circumstances, yet they are always believable.

The Miles Between is a hard book to describe without giving too much away. Des (Destiny) Faraday rarely stays in one place very long- she moves around from boarding school to boarding school. As such, she has learned that it is best not to get attached to people in her life because they will only leave you in the end, just like her parents. But something is different on October 19th….something is in the air. When Des finds a car at her disposal she throws caution to the wind and ends up inviting three of her classmates on a road trip. In search of “one fair day”, the unlikely friends set out towards Langdon, a two hour drive. Along the way they learn a lot more about themselves and each other.

Des is an interesting character. I have to be honest here and say she actually drove me crazy for most of the book. I didn’t find her very likable and was mostly annoyed by her. Yet I couldn’t put the book down. There was something about her that drew me to her and her story. And Pearson has done a phenomenal job here, leading you down one path and then WHAM! The ending slams into you out of nowhere. It brought tears to my eyes, no lie.

This is a great read. I wouldn’t hesitate to give it to my 6th graders, though it’s definitely on a higher level than most middle grade books. I don’t think they would have a problem understanding the store and even connecting with Des and her friends, but I would handsell it to my higher readers. The adventures the foursome go on are funny, touching, and even sad at times. However, I found myself laughing more than crying. When the I finished the book I kept thinking about it even hours later. I’m thrilled to add The Miles Between to my classroom library this fall.

The ARC of The Miles Between has been on quite a road trip this summer. I was thrilled to get a chance to participate in this awesome blog tour (thanks Kristine!). The book traveled around my town for a few days in my purse and I never remembered to take it out for a picture. Oops! I was too enthralled in the story, I tell ya! However, before mailing it off to the editor in New York I snapped a picture of the ARC visiting my monarch butterfly caterpillars. I was changing their milkweed and realized that the monarchs are such a huge part of my life and classroom during this time of the year that it only made sense to take a picture of my backyard, milkweed, and caterpillars! (Plus, my town doesn’t have the biggest, weirdest, smallest, etc anything).

CIMG4651You can see one 3rd instar caterpillar on the second leaf from the bottom!