In author Lisa Kusel’s “Rash,” a tree grew through the middle of the open-air bamboo bungalow in which Kusel, her husband, Victor, and their young daughter, Loy, lived in Bali, where her husband taught in an experimental eco-school. Kusel fights the ants who march down the tree’s trunk and invade her home daily. She also battles for her marriage, worries about her child contracting dengue fever, and is besieged by the din of gamelan music from the cemetery next door. This hilarious memoir examines family, marriage, and the fantasy that moving to the tropics will make life sweeter. Here are 10 more books about families – both real and imagined – traveling near and far, both for parents and their children.
When I read Johann D. Wyss’s “The Swiss Family Robinson” as a child, the possibility of our family living in a tree electrified me. Grade schoolers will love this enduring story of the adventures of a Swiss couple and their four sons, who are shipwrecked on an island.
Nonagenarian road trip
At 90, Norma is diagnosed with cancer and given the choice of chemo or a road trip with her son and his partner. Guess what Norma does? The memoir “Driving Miss Norma: One Family’s Journey Saying ‘Yes’ to Living,” by Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle, celebrates life.
Hello, it’s wanderlust calling
Americans Tsh and Kyle met and married in Kosovo. Then the nutjobs decide to take three kids under 10 on a nine-month trip around the world, from China to New Zealand, Ethiopia to England, among other places. In her memoir “At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe,” Tsh Oxenreider explores the meaning of home.
National Lampoon’s Vacation for the YA crowd
Becca is dragged on an European adventure with her family in “Royally Lost,” by Angie Stanton. It’s miserable until she meets Nikolai, a boy who just so happens to be a prince, and then things start to look up.
For almost-teen queens
Graphic novel “This One Summer,” by cousins Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, is sort of about character Rose’s trip with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach over the summer, but it’s really about a girl on the cusp of her teens.
Juicy beach read
Grab a beach umbrella and bury your nose in “The Vacationers,” by Emma Straub, a novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that arise during an American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca.
Making global citizens
How much can a family weather together? Quite a bit, as told in John Higham’s travel narrative, “360 Degrees Longitude: One Family’s Journey Around the World.” In 52 weeks, the American, his wife, and their two children, ages eight and eleven, crossed 24 time zones, visited 28 countries, and experienced countless adventures.
Magic for grade schoolers
These siblings don’t fight in the back seat. Jack and Annie are time-traveling, globe-trotting, mystery-solving siblings in “The Magic Tree House” chapter books by Mary Pope Osborne.
Cuban cars and cousins
A young boy and his family prepare to travel from their home in the country to Havana to celebrate the birth of a new cousin in “All the Way to Havana,” a picture book by celebrated Cuban American poet Margarita Engle.
Dogs are family too
When John Steinbeck was 58, he set out, “[t]o hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light.”
“Travels with Charley – in Search of America” is his classic tale of his travels with his French poodle, Charley.