Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Rambler Steals Home” as Want to Read:
A Rambler Steals Home
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Rambler Steals Home

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  202 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Eleven-year-old Derby Christmas Clark is a rambler of the road. She travels year-round in an RV with her father and younger brother, selling Christmas trees during the cold months and burgers and fries during baseball season. Derby always did prefer grease splatters to hauling trees, so she’s excited that summer will take her back to small town Ridge Creek, the Rockskipper ...more
Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published February 28th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Rambler Steals Home, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Rambler Steals Home

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  202 ratings  ·  63 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Rambler Steals Home
Elly Swartz
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Rambler Steals Home by Carter Higgins tells the story of how ramblers, Derby, Garland, Triple and a turtle named Peter, discover that home has roots where your heart is, surrounded cucumber sandwiches, apple pies, pink doors, and those who love you most. Dad Garland is an eccentric character, filled with year-round Christmas spirit and a belief in luck and family. While daughter Derby is initially skeptical of the virtues of luck in their lives, we see a shift in her beliefs as the story unfol ...more
Scott Fillner
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Rambler Steals Home is one of those stories that is a lot like the comfort food mentioned in the's something that you can rely on. It's something that grows on you. And it's something that can bring comfort and closeness to others. The characters in this novel go through wonderful transitions and you can just feel and see them grow as you become more and more attached to them over the duration of the story. I cannot wait for this book to be available for others to read it! ...more
Kate Olson
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
What a sweet story! The language in this middle grade story just leaps off the page, and I just couldn't stop from reading the entire book with a twang in my mental voice. It's a story of family and home and traditions, all of which are depicted beautifully. Highly recommended for students in grades 3-6, especially those who love a good down home story about America's pastime. If you have a classroom of kids as a captive audience, this would be an amazing read aloud ~ and PLEASE read it with a t ...more
Jenn Bishop
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
To say that I'm a sucker for baseball stories would be a huge understatement. I pretty much live for stories that capture the smell of freshly cut grass and the smack of a ball off a bat. So it should not surprise you that I completely fell for the world Carter Higgins creates in her middle grade debut. I felt like I was rambling right into Ridge Creek along with Derby and the rest of her on-the-road family. Derby's yearning for a more permanent is as poignant as the inspired friendships she for ...more
Beth P
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Derby, Wrangler and Triple are ramblers, traveling to different states as the seasons change, but "home" is summer at the ballpark. I could hear the sweet potato fries sizzle, smell the sweat and dirt that clung to Triple and feel the locals wrap Derby and her family in blankets of love. Beautifully crafted lines join hands to create a story about what it means to be a family. ...more
Wendy MacKnight
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads
This is a gem of a book. Derby, her father Garland, and her younger brother Triple (along with the best turtle EVER, Pete!) are ramblers, moving from place to place with the seasons. But Ridge Creek, where the family spends its summers, is Derby's favorite resting spot, and not just because it's home to the Ridge Creek Rockskippers, her favorite baseball team. It's also home to her bestie Marcus, and to her beloved June and Franklin, the rocks behind the Rockskippers.

But things are changing thi
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 17s
This is a book about a girl who rambles the country on a certain route each year with her father and younger brother. Summers bring them to a small town in Virginia where Derby's dad operates a grill, and sells food to the locals at the summer-main-attraction baseball games. This small town is the home of her heart.

Derby's voice is all honey-warmth, and poetry, and simple kindness, and those are all things that are so sorely needed in this world. I consider this story as part of the 'slow' movem
Mary Thomas
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"People are a lot nicer when you're nice to them first." One of my favorite quotes from this wonderful middle grade debut! Fans of Kate DiCamillo and Kate Beasley will love the beautiful characters & story in A Rambler Steals Home.

Derby, her brother Triple and their father Garland spend their seasons living and working on the road in their rambler. They sell Christmas trees in Wisconsin, and spend their summers flipping burgers outside of the Rock Skipper minor league baseball stadium in Ridge
Ruth Lehrer
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-debuts
A sweet middle grade read populated with great names starting with the gutsy main character -- a girl by the name of Derby Christmas Clark. Evocative ballgames and terrific food - from apple pies to cherry coals, onion rings to sweet potato fries, tomato sandwiches and lemonade. A Rambler Steals Home is a lovely debut full of "food, family and fun" but also the heartache of change.
I received a free ARC of this 2017 debut in exchange for an honest review.
Amanda Schreiber
"Your home has wheels, but your heart has roots right here." Derby, Triple & Garland will take root in your heart! Filled with family, fun & fried food - A Rambler Steals Home is sure to win over lots of middle grade readers! Carter Higgins has such a great voice & sense of character - from their unique names to their personalities that leap from the page! On my Mock Newbery List for 2018. ...more
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this sweet book in about one gulp. I loved Derby, Betsy, and those broken Clarks with their big old hearts. A gentle story about baseball and loss and home and finding one's roots. (And turtle races, of course.) For anyone cheering for the Home Team, this one's for you. Ages 10+ ...more
Paul Orsino
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Derby and the Ramblers are sure to steal your heart. Beautifully written.
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Derby Christmas Clark may have stolen home but she's also stolen my heart! What a story - I loved every bit of it: minor league baseball, finding your people, Garland's Grill (and burgers with mustard & sweet potato fries), turtle races, and Christmas Nutmeg lipstick.

Derby's voice is unforgettable and the theme itself, that home is who you're with and the people you love, resonates so strongly. I love Derby, her family, her friends, the Rambler and Ridge Creek, VA and their beloved Rockskippers
Alexandra Ott
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A RAMBLER STEALS HOME is such a charming, sweet middle grade book, and I love it so much. I devoured it in one sitting, and by the end I felt so attached to Ridge Creek and its wonderful cast of characters. Derby's voice is pitch perfect, and I am in awe of the writing. As soon as I finished this book I immediately wanted to read it all over again. I cannot wait until this is published so I can share it with everyone. Highly recommend! ...more
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
This story is told in language that is lyrical, evocative, and as delicious as sweet potato fries!
Emily Montjoy
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Rambler Steals Home then stole my heart! Readers will fall in love with this story of family & friends and a place you call home. Highly recommend!
"Being a rambler on the road means three things ... Food, family and fun."

Derby, little brother Triple, and father Garland are ramblers. They travel from season to season. In the winter, they haul and sell Christmas trees in Wisconsin. But from June to September, they set up Garland's Grill outside of James Edward Allen Gibbs Stadium, home of the Ridge Creek Rockskippers. This is the season that Derby loves. This is where best friend, Marcus, is. And where June calls her Sugar Sue. Of course, it
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to the #kidlitexchange network for the free review copy of this book - all opinions are my own.

This is one of those books that just grabs your heart and never really let’s go. There’s a lot of emotion in the story, young characters experiencing some pretty huge life events, learning how to navigate their feelings and reactions, as well as those of the people around them. I definitely see the parallel to DiCamillo’s writing in this aspect.

I think young readers will benefit from the wa
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Rambler Steals Home is a wonderful story about Derby, Garland and Triple Clark, a family of ramblers, who roll into Ridge Creek, Virginia, each summer at the start of the Minor League baseball season, reconnecting with friends and feeding the locals from their mobile food truck. This year, they find out a tragedy has occurred while they were gone for the winter and they realize family is defined by more than blood. It's a story that made me hungry for summer, making memories, minor league base ...more
Casey Lyall
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic read! Derby Christmas Clark travels the county with her dad and younger brother, selling Christmas trees in the winter and flipping burgers in the summer. They spend every summer in the small town of Ridge Creek Virginia, the closest thing Derby knows to a home. This summer brings a swath of changes into Derby's life. This story was brimming with fantastic characters and wonderful relationships. It was heart-warming and sweet and I can't wait to read it again. ...more
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Higgins has created a beautiful story filled with characters who will keep you turning the pages just so you can go along with them.

Derby is a strong female character who is full of heart, and her life is a bit different from other girls her age. I loved this story and look forward to more from this author.

I received an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Darcy Miller
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Summer may just be ending, but this book made me long for it to start all over again. A sweet, fun read from Carter Higgins that made me feel like I was right back under the bleachers with my brother, eating boxed popcorn and scavenging for dropped quarters! Trust me, you'll want to read this one! ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book has earned Carter Higgins a place alongside Ali Benjamin, Tracy Holczer, and Kat Yeh as one of my favorite middle grade voices. She's created such a vibrant character in Derby -- as vibrant as Derby's Christmas Nutmeg lipstick. ...more
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
Derby lives a life on the move, but every summer brings them back to the same minor league baseball stadium -- to sell hot dogs and root for the home team. Derby is looking forward to all the summer traditions. But this summer has something ELSE in mind.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A charming summer read about friendship and family, and how even a rambler has a place to call home! Derby Christmas Clark is as lovable as she is plucky, and kids will root for her and her friends. Perfect for fans of THE DISTANCE TO HOME.
Corabel Shofner
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: swanky-17s
Just look at that cover! How could you resist? Carter Higgins is a wonderful writer.
What a sweet, sweet story!
Suzanne Maley
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has so much heart even though there some sad parts. You will fall in love with many of the characters but especially Derby and her irresistible charm.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
All the way through A Rambler Steals Home, I found myself asking questions that probably weren't entirely relevant to the story, but that nonetheless kept me from fully engaging with the plot and characters.

Rambler is narrated by Derby Christmas Clark, who lives out of the titular vehicle alongside her brother, Triple, and her father, Garland. Each summer, they return to the town of Ridge Creek, Virginia, and operate a food stand outside of the stadium of the minor-league Ridge Creek Rockskipper
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author, publisher and KidLit Exchange for a free review copy of A Rambler Steals Home in exchange for my honest review.

A Rambler Steal's Home is a heartwarming story about a girl named Derby. She is a 'rambler' along with her brother and father. They drive around in an RV selling Christmas trees in the winter and burgers and fries in the summer during baseball season. Derby prefers the summer season: she loves baseball and the friends she has in the small town of Ridge Creek.

« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Undrowned
  • The Collector (The Collector, #1)
  • The Collected (The Collector, #2)
  • Follow Me
  • Bury Me
  • The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1)
  • The Baby Firebird (The Secret Rescuers #3)
  • The Magic Fox (The Secret Rescuers #4)
  • Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor (Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor, #1)
  • Fighting Words
  • Over the Moon
  • No Fixed Address
  • My Secret Bully
  • Outside In
  • Hamstersaurus Rex vs. the Cutepocalypse
  • Hamstersaurus Rex vs. Squirrel Kong
  • Moo Moo in a Tutu
  • Snappsy the Alligator and His Best Friend Forever (Probably)
See similar books…
Carter Higgins is the author of the middle grade novel A Rambler Steals Home (HMH) and three picture books from Chronicle Books: This Is Not a Valentine (illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins), Everything You Need for a Treehouse (illustrated by Emily Hughes), and Bikes for Sale (illustrated by Zachariah Ohora).

Her first picture book as both author and illustrator, Circle Under Berry, releases in 2021

Related Articles

  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
46 likes · 63 comments