Tuesday, August 20, 2013

From the Archives: One to Send Libby on her Way

This post goes out to our volunteer, frequent blogger, TAB veteran and all around awesome friend Libby. She's graduated and heading off to Brazil and we like to think that this book gave her a little push in that direction. Good luck Libbs!

 To Timbuktu: nine countries, two people, one true story by Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg

Casey and Steven are the type of people who don't like to stay in one spot for very long. They met at a college study abroad program in Morocco, fall in love, finish college (on opposite U.S. coasts) and decide that their next step should be across the world--- in China.

I read this book during last week's heat wave and it was the perfect thing to whisk me away to the deserts of Mali and the bustling cities of Beijing. What makes it special is that it pairs Casey's travelog with Steven's expressive drawings, each page is illustrated. Casey and Steven originally head to China for six months of teaching English, writing and drawing and end up spending two years in nine countries. It reads like the whirlwind world tour it certainly was.

You go along with them on their travel highs- like making friends with families in their neighborhood and learning to order dumplings like the locals; as well as their travel lows- like horrendous stomach bugs, almost getting eaten by a hippo and being treated like a walking ATM by street children. You feel the loneliness and the tiredness of being abroad for such a long time, but also the joy and excitement of getting to experience so much of the world. If you're thinking of taking an international trip, joining the peace corps, heading to college abroad or even if you just wish you were brave enough to do any of the above, this is the perfect book for you.

 The authors have a website with lots of extra info including a scrapbook and a blog. Here's a trailer that they made which gives you a sneak peek at the Steven's drawings.


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