Ry’s family has just moved to Wisconsin. No sooner do they arrive when his parents go on vacation and he is shipped off to camp in Montana. Lonely for his old home and his friends, he jumps off the train during mechanical stop, climbs a hill to gain better reception, and promptly watches the train leave without him. He’s stranded. After he walks the tracks for miles and miles, he comes across Del, and older, shall we say unique personality. From his appearance, Del realizes Ry is lost and in a bit of physical distress, so he feeds him and takes him in for the night. Meanwhile, off in the Caribbean, Ry’s parents lose their phone while sailing between tiny islands most have never heard of. And, back at home, Del’s grandfather, Lloyd, the family dog sitter, loses contact with the rest of the family. Del and Ry begin the long journey from Wyoming to Wisconsin to Florida to Puerto Rico, and beyond in search of Ry’s parents. Del leads the way with his “I don’t know about impossible” approach to every challenge life throws at him.
I’m not a huge fan of road trip books, although I did like Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour earlier this year. Ry and Del make for a fun-to-follow duo. Del leads the way, but Ry is always game. And they learn from each other. With all of the technology this day and age has to offer, three segments of a family – Ry, his parents, and his grandfather – manager to lose contact with each other. All of the technology in the world couldn’t bring them back together. But one man, Del, who doesn’t even own a cell phone (he’s waiting to see whether they are fad or not) does his best to get the job done. This was a marvelously-enjoyable book!