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As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  1,563 ratings  ·  389 reviews
The train was moving. Ry could hardly tell at first, but now he knew. It was gaining speed, and he wasn't fast enough to catch it. He had only gotten off for a minute, just to make a phone call - and now it was gone. He was in the middle of nowhere, alone.

Maybe it was the middle of nowhere, but to Ry, it felt like the beginning of something. Something that would take him i
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Greenwillow Books (first published April 27th 2010)
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The Newbery Group has been referencing this book for a couple of months now, so I thought I should read it. Since it is a road trip book about a teenage boy I was thinking it would have some Kerouac inspiration/feel to it. To the author's credit, she does know how to create characters that are warm, interesting, and provide depth to make them seem realistic. I wish the same could be said of her plot.
The story as one reviewer described it seems like a Rube Goldberg machine and unfortunately it i
Quirky. That's the first word that comes to mind. Quirky. Take Lemony Snicket, Wendelin Van Draanen, and a sprinkling of Jonathan Stroud (for the amusing author's interventions/footnotes), and you have As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth.

Basically, it asks how do you fall off the face of the Earth? And goes about answering that in the form of a story. About a young boy who misses his train ride, loses the use of his cellphone, and thus is severed from all connection to his family and gr
Jun 26, 2010 Caren rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all audiences---fun and squeaky clean
Shelves: ya
Oh my goodness, I do like this author! The question is, how can I describe this book and do it justice? The plot could be likened to a Rube Goldberg machine, with one thing leading to another until it is all flowing along, quite out-of-control. Or perhaps it brings to mind the saying that life is what happens while you are making other plans. Ry, the teenage protagonist is on a train in Montana, on his way to summer camp, when the train stops in the middle of nowhere while experiencing a problem ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 22, 2010 Wendy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Darsa, Jack
While I didn't have the feeling of LOVE LOVE LOVE that I had with Criss Cross, this is a really good book; once again, Lynne Rae Perkins has done something that's not quite what everyone else is doing. (And people who complain that Criss Cross has no plot, even though they're wrong, will not have that problem with this book.) I think just about everyone will enjoy this, especially people who liked Holes, Crunch by Leslie Connor, or Shift by Jennifer Bradbury.
Kathleen Houlihan
What a wonderful book! It's so rare that a book makes me laugh out loud, and I did a lot with this book. Ry, our hero who can't seem to catch a break, is so endearing and charming. You can see him soaking up all his new experiences like a sponge, and growing as a person. So many mishaps and yet he soldiers on, making the best of each situation, meeting new people, learning new things, and generally being an awesome and brave individual. I wish I were a little more like Ry... he is kind of my her ...more
Aug 03, 2011 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: Teen Book Club selection
Ry is on his way to summer camp when his train stops in the middle of Montana. He gets off to call his parents, then sees the train taking off without him, leaving him stranded. With no one answering his calls home - his parents are on a trip to the Caribbean and his grandfather has his own adventure going on - Ry heads to the nearest town, where he finds Del, a man of many mechanical talents, who takes Ry in for a few days. When Ry is still unable to reach anyone in his family, Del decides to d ...more
Jun 16, 2010 Carol rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sailors, non-sailors, teens, adults who appreciate good literature no matter how it's labeled
Lynn Rae Perkins is becoming one of my favorite authors, right up there with Sharon Creech and Patricia MacLachlan. This story follows the escapades of Ry, a teenage guy whose life this particular summer includes a series of unlikely but-what-if's, all of which befall him and his family. Thus, Ry's summer camp having been cancelled, he throws his lot in with Del, a taciturn, self-admittedly stubborn, chronic let-me-help-you-out-er, and they make their way East (and eventually to the Caribbean) i ...more
RC 2013 HATED THIS BOOK! I only forced myself to finish it because it was Rebecca Caudill, and why on earth was this Rebecca Caudill? I could see it being on the high school list--but the middle school list? I thought the story was mostly boring, the weird dog pictures didn't add anything to it, and the writing was pretentious. Authorial interruptions either have to be consistent and humorous or not existent in a book. You can't just interject in a couple spots because you feel like it. Here is ...more
Wow. There are so many things I love about this book. There's careful prose like this:
Ry's grandfather, Lloyd, took his first cup of coffee out onto the screened porch, sat down on a glider, and waited in the dark for the birds to start chirping. Between him and the sun, there was a thin bit of earth and a thick wall of trees, still black with night. As he sipped, the first rays of the sun found tiny gaps to poke through. Tomorrow he would pour the pot of coffee into a thermos to bring out onto
Jun 27, 2012 Jessica-Robyn rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jessica-Robyn by: YALSA
As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth is a book that I would describe as a contemporary adventure. For sixteen year old Ry this is the tale of how one misstep turned into his struggle to find his way back home. It's an interesting premise, but for me it fell rather flat.

The spirit is there, but I never really connected with Ry. He never felt like a real person, or rather a convincing older teenage boy, and that made me question the believability of his situation more then once. This is a
What a wonderful book! I enjoyed her writing in ALL ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE and CRISS CROSS where the stories were quiet ones. I marveled at how well she could recreate the feelings of a 12 year old. This new novel is an energetic, frantic road trip filled with humor, excitement and surprises.
It took me three tries to get into Criss Cross, and I wasn't sure I would ever love this author. It took me about four seconds to get into this book, and I loved it! Quirky, funny, and tender. Ry's way of dealing with his ever-increasingly desperate situation is cute and sweet, while at the same time being totally believable. Love the other characters that weave in and out of the story as well.

Mostly I love the narrator's voice and style. SO much fun.

This book is a series of unfortunate events
Umm, if I were a teenager I would probably love this. As a parent...totally appalled. 15 year old Ry is on his way to summer camp, via train while his parents take an island vacation and his grandfather stays home to watch the dogs. The train has a slight mechanical problem and Ry steps off to try to get a signal on his cell to make some phone calls. Train leaves without him. Cue mishaps.

Ry hooks up with Del, who decides it would be best to drive him across the country to get him back home. No p
Right off the bat, let me say that I liked this novel so much better than Criss Cross, Perkins's Newbery Medal winning effort. It succeeds where Criss Cross failed, namely in conveying the serendipitous nature of self-discovery, largely through the power of adventure story. The main character, a likable teenager named Ry, has incredibly bad luck from page one, when he steps off a train trying to find cell reception and ends up stranded in the middle of Montana. He has just read a letter from the ...more
Ry is off to summer camp. Wait, he's how old? (*cough* 16) But on the train he opens a letter from the camp that says camp is cancelled. He gets off the train to call home, but the train leaves without him. So he walks into town and Del takes him in and after a day of working at Del's tree cutting down business, Ry decides to let Del drive him across country to home. Wow. Ry, you're kind of an idiot. And even though Del is a nice guy, he has other reasons for driving Ry home which turn out to be ...more
Nate U.
As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth:

Searching for the Ones We Love

Have you ever gone great lengths to find someone you love? This is exactly what Ry and others do in As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth, which is a fabulous realistic fiction novel by Lynne Rae Perkins. The book starts when the main character Ry is going off to camp. His parents are away on a trip, and his grandfather is watching his house in Wisconsin. While on the train to camp, Ry opens a letter saying that c
Nathaniel Y.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
15-year-old Ry suffers (or is that "endures"?, or is that "enjoys"?) an astonishing, off-the-wall summer, a relentless barrage of calamities and adventures that starts - only just starts - when he disembarks from a passenger train en route from Wisconsin to a summer camp somewhere west of Montana (where he disembarks, in the middle of nowhere, to try to find some cell phone reception, because he has just, belatedly, read a letter informing him the camp has been canceled...) and the train takes o ...more
I loved this book. It's a sort of road trip/journey combined with a look at coincidence and letting things happen as they happen. The narrator injects herself into the story, and you feel as if the characters are watching themselves move through the story just as you are watching them.

There's action but it just flows along like a river and you are caught up in it. Three improbably stories going on at the same time, plus a side story about dogs who are also included in the other stories. I think
Aug 31, 2010 Nicole rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who appreciate "just happen to..." plot points
Shelves: magical-realism, ya
The thing you have to know about me is that I don't like fairy tales, folk tales or any other story in which things just sort of happen. The evil witch suddenly appears. The prince just barely misses the princess in the woods.

So this book was hard for me to buy into. He misses his train and just happens to meet the perfect adult companion. Just happens to have access to a car, boat, and plane. Just happens to be in love with a woman close to where his parents are. Just happens to break his leg,
Part of Adventures in Reading post on Bewitched Bookworms.
I read five books. In five days. This was one of them. =)

As Ry stood and watched the train pull off into the distance leaving him in the middle of nowhere, he pondered how he could have possibly gotten there. How had things gone wrong? Little did he know that being left behind by a train was merely the beginning of an incredible summer odyssey.

I adore, *heart*, admire, and emphatically love this no
Eva Mitnick
15-year-old Ry is on a train heading to summer camp. The train stops in the middle of Nowhere, Montana for no apparent reason. Ry gets off to stretch his legs and try for better cell phone reception, leaving his backpack on the train. Train leaves. Oops!

This book could be called Trains, Planes, and Automobiles (and Small Boats), because these are the various transportation methods Ry uses to try to get home again. Like all great road stories, this isn't about home itself but about the journey to
This is a fun book, in the best sense of the word. Unexpected adventure based on ridiculous happenstance and coincidences piled higher and higher, colorful characters, a light-hearted yet lyrical and effective narrator, and underneath it all a bit of wisdom. I really liked it.

The adventure starts when teenager Ry, on his way across the country to the camp where he is to be a counselor for the summer, opens a neglected letter to find the camp has been cancelled. Within minutes, his train stops in
This book was warm and likable in some portions, and thoroughly "meh" in others. I found the characters to be lovely, interesting people. Ry especially felt very genuine as a teen boy character who doesn't necessarily think things through thoroughly. There were lots of lovely descriptive passages capturing character relationship.

The plot, though. Oh, the plot. Verging on ridiculous. Also, I'd prefer to leave dialogue between animal characters to Redwall and other such series.

I propose that this
Ever had one of those days where nothing goes as planned? Perkins has taken this premise and penned an entire novel that throws calamity, accident, and mishap—one right after the other—onto the main character. The adventure begins when 16-year-old Ry is stranded by his train in the middle of Montana. As he tries to navigate his way home, Ry encounters a series of misfortunes. Other reviewers have raved, calling Perkins’ story comedic and witty, but the humor was completely lost on me. I felt ins ...more
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
I will write more about this book later -- just want to mark the space for it here. It's a REALLY unusual book. I kept wavering between LOVING it and WONDERING if it is actually a children's book. Also wavering between WANTING more (because of the incredibly cool ways Perkins writes and tells the story) and DREADING more (because there are simply TOO many things that go wrong... too many Uh-Oh moments that it sometimes grated on me...)

Must think MORE about this one. But, finally finishing it, I
I Love Lynne Rae Perkins. She is so funny and even though this story is unbelievable, or at least highly improbable, We love the characters so much that we just go right along. LOVE, I want her to live next door so we can have coffee together and she can entertain me with her wry observations. Could that be why the character is named Ry? Is she sending me a secret message that she wants to be my neighbor too? And I loved the way the illustrations come after the description of the scene- like a l ...more
I absolutely loved this. It's a bright, refreshing, quirky little gem of a book that really stands out against so much Young Male Adult Fiction which is otherwise so heavily weighted towards intense action thrillers.

This book falls loosely within the road-trip genre and involves a 15 year-old boy called Ry who finds himself utterly stranded in the middle of nowhere on route to a summer camp which, he has just found out, has been cancelled. His phone is about to run out of charge, he has almost n
This book begins alarmingly with 14-year-old Ry stranded in the middle of nowhere after he gets off the train in search of cell phone reception, and the train leaves without him and with his backpack still on board. Things only get crazier from there. Kind people cross Ry's path, particularly a middle-aged man named Del, whose relaxed attitude toward life means that he is willing to take chances and take what comes, in kind of a MacGyver-like way. As Ry tries to reach first his grandfather in Wi ...more
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Lynne Rae Perkins is the author of several novels, including her most recent Newbery Award winning book, Criss Cross. She enjoys working in her studio, being with friends, watching her kids grow, and watching her husband, Bill, chase their dog around town.
More about Lynne Rae Perkins...
Criss Cross All Alone in the Universe Nuts to You Pictures from Our Vacation Snow Music

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