The Big Wander: 06/19/13
The Big Wander by Will Hobbs is a tween fiction about a fourteen year old boy doing his best to find his missing uncle. When the book opens, Clay and his older brother, Mike, leave Seattle for Arizona and New Mexico, in search for Uncle Clay.
Mike and Clya are on their own during summer break while their mother is in South America, doing charity work. They have about $200 and an old truck to last them through the summer. Their only clue is a call from a place that sounds like "Restaurant Hay."
The book has three distinct parts (with a small coda at the end): the brothers traveling together, Clay by himself, and Clay with a Navajo family. It's not until Clay is on his own that the book becomes something special.
Clay, relying on a burro, a stray dog, and a later a pinto horse, gets into some of the most remote areas of the borderlands between Arizona, New Mexico and Utah (much but not all, within the Navajo Nation). His travels take him roughly from Monument Valley to present day Lake Powell — in the weeks before the valleys were flooded to create the lake.