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Children's Fiction Alternative Family

Northward to the Moon

by (author) Polly Horvath

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Feb 2010
Alternative Family, Humorous Stories, General
Recommended Age
0 to 18
Recommended Grade
p to 12
Recommended Reading age
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2010
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


Oprah's 2010 Kids' Reading List: 12 and Up

When Jane's stepfather, Ned, gets fired from his job as a French teacher -- turns out he doesn't speak French -- Jane feels the warm glow of possibility. She can tell that Ned is restless, eager to get out on the road, and she too is thrilled with the idea of adventures to be had. She's ready for her whole family -- her mother; Ned; her sister, Maya; and her two little brothers -- to leave Saskatchewan right away and drive through the night, like outlaws.

So Jane and her family set off on an adventure that takes them across the continent: from a First Nation village through Las Vegas to Ned's mothers's horse ranch, where Jane meets her eccentric new grandmother and aunts. As Jane learns more about Ned's family history, she starts to realize that there's a difference between her own love of adventure and Ned's true outlaw spirit. Far from home, she gains new perspective on the unpredictable things that people do.

About the author

Polly Horvath is one of the most highly acclaimed authors writing today. Her books include The Canning Season (winner of the National Book Award and the CLA Young Adult Book Award), Everything on a Waffle (a Newbery Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book and winner of the Mr. Christie's Book Award and the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize), The Trolls (a National Book Award finalist), My One Hundred Adventures (a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a Booklist Editors' Choice, a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of the Year and winner of a NAPPA Gold Award and the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize), and Northward to the Moon (an Oprah's Book Club Kids' Reading List selection and winner of a Parents' Choice Gold Award). Her most recent book is Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire!

Polly Horvath's profile page


  • Short-listed, Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize

Editorial Reviews

...a poignant novel that excels in the charm and depth of its characters. Highly recommended.

CM Magazine

Rakish, tart and joyous...[a] refreshing novel.

Toronto Star

Librarian Reviews

Northward to the Moon

Picking up one year after My One Hundred Adventures, author Polly Horvath revisits Jane Fielding and her family, now living in Saskatchewan, where her stepfather Ned is teaching French. When Ned gets fired from his job (for not actually knowing French), Jane’s imagination runs wild with all of the possibilities for adventure. She also senses Ned’s restlessness and sees him as a kindred spirit. The family leaves Saskatchewan and sets off on a quest that takes them from a First Nations village to Ned’s mother’s horse ranch until they finally land back where they belong — their beloved beach home in Cape Cod.

As with its companion book, Jane’s voice carries this novel. She is funny, insightful and intelligent, and a truly likeable character. Jane is now 13 and she’s an interesting mix of adult and child. At times, her insights are profound and mature, but as her first humiliating crush teaches her, she has a lot to learn about people and relationships. Jane does a great deal of learning and growing in this book, and family is at the heart of the story. This time, the adventures are not solely Jane’s, and as she gets to know her new grandmother and aunts, she begins to understand that her search for adventure is different from Ned’s own wandering spirit.

The book is beautifully written. The language is vivid and descriptive, and Horvath writes with humour and integrity. The characters are well-drawn, with unique personalities, and readers will be easily pulled into caring about them, and will leave anxious to read the next chapter in Jane’s adventures.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2010. Vol.33 No.3.

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