100 Sideways Miles

100 Sideways Miles

For Ages: 14 and up
  • 11
Destiny takes a detour in this “wickedly witty and offbeat novel” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) that was nominated for the National Book Award.

Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved.

Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.

NYTBR Notable Children’s Book of the Year
NPR Best Book of the Year
NYPL’s Best Book of the Year for Teens
ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults
Chicago Public Library Best Teen Fiction of the Year
A Texas Tayshas Top Ten Selection
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442444966 | 
  • September 2015 | 
  • Grades 9 and up | 
  • Lexile ® 890L
List Price $11.99 (price may vary by retailer)
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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

100 Sideways Miles
By Andrew Smith
 

About the Book

After losing his mother at a young age in a bizarre accident that left him with a broken back and epilepsy, Finn has been coping but never quite feeling up to meeting life’s challenges. With the help of his charismatic best friend, Cade, a heroic rescue in which the two boys ultimately rescue themselves, and the risk of romance with Julia, Finn begins to see everything differently.

Prereading Discussion

Read Maya Angelou’s poem Caged Bird. Pay particular attention to images of clipped wings and shadow. Why does the caged bird sing?

Discussion Questions

1. Finn thinks about time in terms of space. He wonders about cosmological concepts and principles that hold the universe together. What does Finn’s fascination with the cosmos reveal about him? 

2. What does it mean to be trapped in a book? Have you ever felt trapped? How so?

3. Finn comments, “When you think about it, the universe is nothing but this vast knackery of churning black holes and exploding stars, constantly freeing atoms that collect together and become something else, and something else again.” What does Finn mean by this?

4. Do you have cosmic concerns similar to Finn’s? How are your concerns similar to, or different from, Finn&rsquo see more

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About the Author

Andrew Smith
Photograph by Kaija Bosket

Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith is the author of several award-winning novels for young adults. He lives in a very remote area in the mountains of Southern California with his family, two horses, two dogs and three cats. He doesn’t watch television and occupies himself by writing, bumping into things outdoors, and taking ten-mile runs on snowy trails. He maintains a blog and website about his strange writing life at GhostMedicine.Blogspot.com.

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