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Cover image for Applewhites coast to coast
Applewhites coast to coast

First edition.
New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Physical Description:
ix, 309 pages ; 22 cm
Series title(s):
Number in series:
bk. 3.
General Note:
Sequel to: Applewhites at Wit's End.
Thirteen-year-old E.D. Applewhite, still reeling from her bewildering kiss with former bad boy Jake, embarks on a cross-country road trip in a wildly painted school bus with her eccentric, highly creative family, as they compete in an art educational quest for a big cash prize.
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On Order



This third story about the madcap family introduced in Stephanie Tolan's Newbery Honor Book Surviving the Applewhites features even more outlandish adventures and will appeal to fans of the Applewhites and those meeting them for the first time.

E.D. and Jake are doing their best to forget their bewildering kiss--after all, they're practically family--and get back to "normal" life with the decidedly abnormal, highly creative Applewhites.

When the family's biggest fan, Jeremy Bernstein, pulls up to Wit's End in an "Art Bus," he brings with him a proposal for an Education Expedition: a cross-country road trip, educational quest, and video-documented competition for a big cash prize. Jeremy also drags along his troubled but beautiful niece, Melody. She'll be joining the expedition with her own rebellious flair, much to Jake's delight . . . and E.D.'s exasperation.

With characteristic Applewhite enthusiasm, the artists face disastrous performances, fainting goats, and some very bad ideas--but can they make it through the road trip in one piece?

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-In this third installment, the free-spirited artists take their outlandish adventures on the road. Events are once again narrated from the point of view of E.D. (Edith), 13, the only organized member of this otherwise-flighty clan, and Jake Semple, onetime delinquent who arrived at the Applewhites's home school a year ago, discovered his passion for musical theater, and now is part of the family. As both teens are still reeling from the unexpected kiss shared on the final page of Applewhites at Wit's End, the family jumps at an irresistible opportunity: a wealthy couple is mounting an Education Expedition wherein groups of creative types take students across the country on refurbished school buses on an "adventurous educational quest" to be documented by video logs televised nationally, with the winners earning accolades (and a hefty cash prize). With preparations being made, rather haphazardly, E.D. has her doubts about the trip, concerns made deeper by the presence of the gorgeous and contemptuous Melody Aiko Bernstein, "troubled" niece of a family friend, whom Jake keeps staring at "like a puppy that has just caught sight of its first biscuit." Filled with humorous mishaps and roadside wonders, the Applewhites's rambling journey from Rhode Island to California provides opportunity for new experiences and emotional growth as E.D. is pushed out of her comfort zone, Jake wrestles with his rule-breaking proclivities, and both discover the importance of remaining true to one's heart-and one's art. VERDICT Great fun for fans of the series.-Joy Fleishhacker, Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

Fans of Surviving the Applewhites and Applewhites at Wit's End should agreeably accompany the quirky crew on their coast-to-coast, marginally educational bus trip in this third book. Those not well acquainted with the family may be less amused by their idiosyncrasies and foibles. E.D. and Jake alternate the focus in each chapter as they (somewhat tiresomely) navigate hormonal infatuations and learn to appreciate true friendship. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

The Applewhites take their untraditional, ramshackle educational show on the road. In this third in the Applewhites saga, Jake Semple, cured of his rebel ways at their home-school ranch called Wit's End, remains with the Applewhites. The entire brood embarks on a cross-country competition to prove their brand of experiential, self-driven learning is the best. If they win, there's both money and reality TV fame to be had. E.D. and Jake's first kiss hasn't quite gone as expected, so when trouble arrives in the form of a gorgeous bad-girl named Melody Aiko Bernstein, Jake is struck dumb and E.D. is simmeringly jealous. Jake's and E.D.'s thoughts are revealed in alternating, third-person-limited chapters, while the rest of the quirky cast play out their roles in the background. The Art Bus goes from assigned stop to assigned stop per the competition's directive, amid myriad mishaps such as wayward crushes, stolen cars, embarrassing theater performances, minimakeovers, and cockroach infestations. Through sarcastic wit and sweet charm by turns, Melody manipulates the Applewhites, begging the question of everyone's integrity. This road trip is long and, despite its jumble of events, often tedious. Jake and the Applewhites are white; diversity is mostly conveyed by naming convention, as with Melody's Japanese middle name and yoga teacher/family cook Govindaswami's Indian one. A humdrum adventure that muddily tries to convey the notion that all of life's students are also teachers. (Fiction. 8-13) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* A hearty welcome back to the Applewhites, that family of self-proclaimed artistic geniuses, whose Creative Academy is now about to win public acclaim or infamy. The family has been selected to participate in the wealthy Rutherford family's Education Expedition, which pits similarly inclined homeschoolers in a cross-country road trip to bring educational prowess to the masses (and money to the winners). But once the TV people get a hold of the expedition, it turns into a reality show. A new addition to the greater Applewhite family, savvy teen Melody knows what to do to make winners of them all, but how far will the clan let themselves be pushed? With the same madcap shenanigans that made the previous two books big winners, this volume gets the gang moving across the country in their reconstituted school buses, and the laughs are plentiful at every stop along the way. But the Tolans offer more than high jinks. Told in alternating viewpoints, E. D., the practical Applewhite, must reconcile her down-to-earthiness with the reality that schemers like Melody often win the day and in this case, might also win E. D.'s crush, Jake. Jake's chapters, meanwhile, feature introspection about the problem problems! with girls. There's not much else like the Applewhites in kidlit, so enjoy the ride!--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2017 Booklist