Probably my last Margaret Peterson Haddix book (until she publishes a new one), Takeoffs and Landings is not one of my favorites, and is definitely geared towards the pre-teen audience. It tells the story of a small-town, 4H, farming brother and sister, Chuck and Lori, who are finally spending quality time with their mother, for the first time since their father died eight years ago. After he died, their mom started speaking, publicly, about his death and life insurance, which turned her into a motivational speaker. Lori is bitter and feels abandoned, but Chuck is just grateful for the attention. It starts out as an awkward trip; the kids hardly know their mom, and Chuck and Lori, once inseparable, now find each other unbearable. But by the end of their journey, the relationship seems to mend.
I didn't love this book, but I did enjoy it. I recommend it for a younger set, especially those kids, and maybe even parents, who may relate to Chuck and Lori, those feeling a loss or a disconnect of a parent. It might just give them the boost they need to fix their relationship.