Crossing the Borderline
by Jennifer Khoh
Purple Leaf Publishing

"I figured that even if I hadn't died back at the border or in a raid gone wrong in Afghanistan, I was going to now, because the bandits were close by somewhere, and the day was going to be over in minutes."

One day in early February Jennifer's mother announces they will be leaving England for Australia, an unexpected and unconventional idea. It takes a wild turn when she tells her family of two daughters and her second husband, that they will travel most of the way there in an older VW camping van. Seeing Europe, Asia, and the Mideast through the eyes of a nine-year-old, during a more innocent and less hostile time, is quite a contrast to present day where there is much turmoil and danger for countrymen and Anglo travelers.

Why they left and why their mother decides to embark on an excursion, which takes them across thousands of miles of land prior to ever boarding a ship to Australia, are never quite revealed. Yet, the interactions between people of various cultures is enlightening and at times entertaining. People of all ages may find the clash and harmony of cultures intriguing, awestruck at times with how the family, especially Jenny's mother, manage to get out of one difficult situation or another.

Actual journal entries give insight into a child's view of the journey. Some of the more ordinary adventures and descriptions are a bit tedious to read, while the dangerous adventures keep the reader engaged and curious. One entry reads—"Day Twelve: 19 April, 1975, We almost went over the edge of a mountain and died. Some Turkish children stole our door handle and we could not get out of the van…" Showing a child's unconditional trust and belief in her mother, this story of courage and adventure is a good read.

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