In 2005, 14-year-old Savannah Grace’s world is shattered when her mother unexpectedly announces that she and her family (mother, 45; brother, 25; sister, 17) would soon embark on an incredible, open-ended journey. When everything from her pets to the house she lived in is either sold, given away or put in storage, this naïve teenage girl runs headlong into the reality and hardships of a life on the road.
Built around a startling backdrop of over eighty countries (I Grew my Boobs in China relates the family’s adventures in China and Mongolia), this is a tale of feminine maturation – of Savannah’s metamorphosis from ingénue to woman-of-the-world. Nibbling roasted duck tongues in China and being stranded in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert are just two experiences that contribute to Savannah’s exploration of new cultures and to the process of adapting to the world around her.
The first portion of this memoir tells the story of the average teenage girl. She is somewhat insecure, has had plenty of experience being the new kid in town and is trying to settle into a rhythm in her young life. She loves her dog, her best friend and her family. A phone call changes all of her plans, when her mother decides they are going to travel through China and live out of a backpack for a full year.
I could feel the devastation that young Savannah felt through her writing. She is very talented at expressing her memories and emotions through words and truly makes the reader feel as though they are right along beside her for the duration of the journey. What a journey it turns out to be–so many ways to experience all of your senses in this book!
It was amazing to read about this girl and her family and how much she grew up and changed over the course of their adventures. The descriptive language she uses to tell of her surroundings and each new place they visit made this somewhat like watching a movie. You could smell the air and see the colours through her words.
This is more than just a simple travel memoir. This is a story of spiritual and mental growth, physical change and family. Be careful when you read this, you might just want to sell everything you own and buy a sturdy backpack for your own adventure.
One of the main things I enjoyed about this book was the humor. There is a thread of hilarity that spans the course of the story, and the author never loses the ability to make her reader feel warm inside even during the portions that are more serious.
This is an excellent book from a talented author, and I recommend checking it out. You won’t be sorry you did.
On one final note–what a great title for a book!