Title: Sihpromatum - I grew my boobs in China
Author: Savannah Grace
Pages: 519 (in e-pub version)
Genre: true story - travel
Published: August 2012
Publisher: Sihpromatum Publishing House
My Source: author (thank you!)
My score on Goodreads: 5 stars (and I would give more if possible)
SIHPROMATUM (Sip-row-may-tum) is a memoir series of one family’s four-year backpacking adventure around the world. The first installment, I Grew my Boobs in China, is the beginning of an intensely fascinating, sobering, and emotional memoir of Savannah’s introspective and innovative family adventure.
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.
Wauw! This is the first book in a long while that thaught me a lot while it also offered me a great and entertaining read. Normally I find books with true stories rather boring. This time it was different. Though Savannah Grace tells us a story about the big journey she and her family made, this wasn't a dull diary or something like that. It was a funny, well writen, interesting book that invites you into a new world and encourages you to read further and further and to travel further and further with the lovely family of Savannah Grace.
At the age of 14, Savannah is a very normal girl with a normal life. She does normal things, goes to a normal school,... All of that changes suddenly when Savannah's mother is sick and tired of all this normality in their lifes. After her husband left her she feels like doing something for her own. Instead of buying some expensive things or redecorate their house, she wants to go on a journey. A big one... A journey through several countries. A journey that will take a year to complete.
While Ammon and Bree, her siblings, are excited and curious about the biggest step they'll probably take in their lifes, Savannah hates every little thing about it. She doesn't want to discover the world. She wants to discover the "normal" world around her, boys, new friends,... Selling their house, leaving everything behind, quiting school for a year,... Did her mother become crazy? Savannah believes she does, but eventually she does everything asked of her and she joins her family on the biggest field trip ever.
The countries chosen by their mother and brother Ammon aren't the easiest ones to start with. Faced with poverty and other cultures this American family learns to appreciate life in a totally different way. They learn what's important in life and how people with nothing can give you the most. They learn how every stranger is a friend you still have to meet. They learn the taste of wool in cookies. Lessons they couldn't learn at school.
What I liked the most about this book is how recognisable Savannah writes about her feelings through this journey. I think I would react the same way as she did... not so happy to leave everything I know behind, give my dog away to people I don't know, live from a backpack, sell my house, leave school and know I'm gonna get behind,... But eventually I would appreciate this opportunity too. It's lovely to read how Savannah experiences several opposite emotions throughout this journey. Some days she's excited and happy with everything she gets to see. Other days she's scared, feels lonely and just wants to eat something normal. This book is a great mix of all sorts of things and that makes it an interesting and fun read!
I recommand this book to everyone and when you read it, you should check the blog of the family too. It provides some cool pictures you can link to the story while reading.