counter Across the Pond - Free Download Books
Hot Best Seller

Across the Pond

Availability: Ready to download

From the author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost comes a heartwarming story about new beginnings, burgeoning friendships, and finding your flock. Callie can’t wait for her new life to start. After a major friendship breakup in San Diego, moving overseas to Scotland gives her the perfect chance to reinvent herself. On top of that, she’s going to live in a real-life castle! B From the author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost comes a heartwarming story about new beginnings, burgeoning friendships, and finding your flock. Callie can’t wait for her new life to start. After a major friendship breakup in San Diego, moving overseas to Scotland gives her the perfect chance to reinvent herself. On top of that, she’s going to live in a real-life castle! But as romantic as life in a castle sounds, the reality is a little less comfortable: it’s run-down, freezing, and crawling with critters. Plus, starting off on the wrong foot with the gardener’s granddaughter doesn’t help her nerves about making new friends. So she comes up with the perfect solution: she’ll be homeschooled. Her parents agree, on one condition: she has to participate in a social activity. Inspired by a journal that she finds hidden in her bedroom, Callie decides to join a birding club. Sure, it sounds unusual, but at least it’s not sports or performing. But when she clashes with the club leader, she risks losing a set of friends all over again. Will she ever be able to find her flock and make this strange new place feel like home?


Compare

From the author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost comes a heartwarming story about new beginnings, burgeoning friendships, and finding your flock. Callie can’t wait for her new life to start. After a major friendship breakup in San Diego, moving overseas to Scotland gives her the perfect chance to reinvent herself. On top of that, she’s going to live in a real-life castle! B From the author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost comes a heartwarming story about new beginnings, burgeoning friendships, and finding your flock. Callie can’t wait for her new life to start. After a major friendship breakup in San Diego, moving overseas to Scotland gives her the perfect chance to reinvent herself. On top of that, she’s going to live in a real-life castle! But as romantic as life in a castle sounds, the reality is a little less comfortable: it’s run-down, freezing, and crawling with critters. Plus, starting off on the wrong foot with the gardener’s granddaughter doesn’t help her nerves about making new friends. So she comes up with the perfect solution: she’ll be homeschooled. Her parents agree, on one condition: she has to participate in a social activity. Inspired by a journal that she finds hidden in her bedroom, Callie decides to join a birding club. Sure, it sounds unusual, but at least it’s not sports or performing. But when she clashes with the club leader, she risks losing a set of friends all over again. Will she ever be able to find her flock and make this strange new place feel like home?

30 review for Across the Pond

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Callie is okay with her parents leaving San Diego and moving to a castle they have inherited in Scotland. Lady Whittington-Spence, a woman they befriended when they were young died without heirs, leaving the mouldering edifice to them, but they are lucky enough to get a grant to repair the facilities and turn it into a tourist destination. Callie's brother Jax is seven and makes friends easily, so he's fine with the move, but Callie is apprehensive. She had some d E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Callie is okay with her parents leaving San Diego and moving to a castle they have inherited in Scotland. Lady Whittington-Spence, a woman they befriended when they were young died without heirs, leaving the mouldering edifice to them, but they are lucky enough to get a grant to repair the facilities and turn it into a tourist destination. Callie's brother Jax is seven and makes friends easily, so he's fine with the move, but Callie is apprehensive. She had some difficulties with a best friend back home that makes her doubt her every interaction, and after visiting the local comprehensive she would attend, she begs her parents to let her be homeschooled. She does her research and has a solid plan, so they agree, even though they are deep in renovations on the property. Callie does have to have at least one social group, and the local librarian, Esme, lets her know about a birding group that meets at the library. While she doesn't know anything about "twitching", it's better than a sport, even though the adult leader is a bit of a jerk and all of the members are boys. One boy, Rajesh, The activity has another plus in that Callie has found a journal of Lady Whittington-Spence's from when she was a war evacuee in 1939, and she was also interested in birding. Callie's parents hire a man to help with the renovations, and his granddaughter, Sid, gets off to a rocky start with Callie, but the two eventually warm to each other. Strengths: I absolutely adored the setting of this, and the fact that it was based on the author's parents having lived in Scotland to go to university when she was a small child was fantastic! The backstory with Lady Whittington-Spence's childhood as a war evacuee added an interesting layer. Sid and Rajesh are good friends, and they add a bit of diversity. Sid has epilepsy and has absence seizures (something that has not been covered enough in middle grade literature), and Rajesh's family has an Indian cultural background, and he is made fun of by other boys for his short stature, but has a good attitude about things. There's a nice blend of family activities, friend drama, and birding set against the fabulous backdrop of a Scottish castle. Weaknesses: Middle school is rife with friendship problems, and it's worrying that Callie reacts to these by wanting to completely withdraw from the company of other children. The instance that led to the drama was one in which her friends were engaging in dangerous behavior, and the fact that Callie did the right thing by reporting them could have been treated in a more positive manner. I know that books today address anxiety in a way that it hasn't been addressed in the past, but I would like to see more modeling of resiliency. The young Lady Whittington-Spence and Rajesh do show more positive ways of dealing with challenges. What I really think: Travel books are always popular, and this is a more up-to-date version of a US child moving to Scotland than Krech's Love Puppies and Corner Kicks (2010). (Which came out about the year that Callie would have been born. Where does the time go?)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)

    Across the Pond is a charming, sensitive middle grade book about moving to a new country and finding your tribe. Set in breathtaking Scotland and featuring a birdwatching protagonist and diary entries from a 1939 war evacuee, this book provides an engaging mix of historical and contemporary fiction. If you like books about families, birds, disentangling from toxic friendships, and finding friends that feel like family, this is your pick. Read my full review on my blog. Many thanks to the publisher Across the Pond is a charming, sensitive middle grade book about moving to a new country and finding your tribe. Set in breathtaking Scotland and featuring a birdwatching protagonist and diary entries from a 1939 war evacuee, this book provides an engaging mix of historical and contemporary fiction. If you like books about families, birds, disentangling from toxic friendships, and finding friends that feel like family, this is your pick. Read my full review on my blog. Many thanks to the publisher for an eARC of this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    I adored this book, and not just because I’ve spent most of the pandemic dreaming about living in a castle somewhere. This is a lovely book with strong characters, a gorgeous setting, an unusual pastime, and a sweet friendship.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This is exactly the type of book I would have loved as a child (and let's be honest -- I loved it now as an adult). Callie is a introverted bookworm dealing with losing her closest friends right before a move. Understandably, she has trust issues, and she convinces her parents to homeschool her for the rest of the semester. There aren't very many middle-grade novels with homeschooled kids, so I KNOW my girls will enjoy reading about Callie's journey, as she builds community in her new town and st This is exactly the type of book I would have loved as a child (and let's be honest -- I loved it now as an adult). Callie is a introverted bookworm dealing with losing her closest friends right before a move. Understandably, she has trust issues, and she convinces her parents to homeschool her for the rest of the semester. There aren't very many middle-grade novels with homeschooled kids, so I KNOW my girls will enjoy reading about Callie's journey, as she builds community in her new town and starts a new hobby. (I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)

    A sweet middle grade contemporary about a young girl Callie who has had a rough time with friends and peer pressure. When her parent’s tell her and her brother that they inherited a castle in Scotland she thinks this is just what she needed and a way to reinvent herself and be someone different and make new friends. Things don’t go as she hoped because when her mom takes her to the school to see about registering she is introduced to a class and stumbles over her words, kids snicker and now she d A sweet middle grade contemporary about a young girl Callie who has had a rough time with friends and peer pressure. When her parent’s tell her and her brother that they inherited a castle in Scotland she thinks this is just what she needed and a way to reinvent herself and be someone different and make new friends. Things don’t go as she hoped because when her mom takes her to the school to see about registering she is introduced to a class and stumbles over her words, kids snicker and now she doesn’t want to go to the school and is afraid that things are not going to be any different. She talks her parents into letting her homeschool and they agree but she has to join a social extracurricular activity. She isn’t good at sports and she is sure that hanging with the librarian isn’t going to cute it she finds out about a birdwatching group. The only thing is is that it’s run by a very snotty old man and is all boys. She finds out that birdwatching or twitching as they call it, is very male oriented. They can only count the male birds when looking for them, females don’t count. She voices her opinion and about things and it doesn’t go so well for her. Also, her parents are turning the castle into a tourist attraction and has hired an older man to do the landscaping and he has a young girl Callie’s age and at first they don’t get off to a good start but she learns that she likes twitching too and they slowly get to where they become friends. Callie learns a lot about birds and she also finds a journal from the previous owner of the castle and in it she learns about a part of her childhood that was pretty tough and also a lot about birding from her. Callie also learns a lot about herself and how she shouldn’t have to be a certain way to fit in, sometimes she just needs to find the right flock. I really liked Callie and how she took a stand with the birding club and created her own club that allowed counting females. I really enjoyed this one and would highly recommend it to young readers.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Krysta

    Source: ARC from author Across the Pond is a delightful travel novel sure to please readers who enjoy vicariously exploring other countries. Callie and her family move to Scotland when her parents decide to renovate an old castle left to them by a deceased friend. Callie is initially excited to be leaving her old life behind–her friends were mean and she now has some anxiety about attending school and fitting in. But Scotland does not turn out to be quite the new start Callie hoped, and she soon Source: ARC from author Across the Pond is a delightful travel novel sure to please readers who enjoy vicariously exploring other countries. Callie and her family move to Scotland when her parents decide to renovate an old castle left to them by a deceased friend. Callie is initially excited to be leaving her old life behind–her friends were mean and she now has some anxiety about attending school and fitting in. But Scotland does not turn out to be quite the new start Callie hoped, and she soon realizes that she will have new problems to confront. Across the Pond is a fairly conventional middle-grade novel about growing up, making friends, and finding one’s place in the community. But the Scottish setting and Callie’s somewhat unusual new hobby–birding–will initially hook readers and then keep them engaged. The setting will likely be one of the first things to attract readers to Across the Pond, and Joy McCullough makes sure to give Scotland a starring role. Callie wonderfully gets to live in a castle, complete with locked trunks to spark the imagination and old diaries to give her (and readers) a glimpse of growing up in the 1940s. McCullough also spends time describing the small town life (slowing giving way to modernity as the family-owned stores of the past go out of business and chain stores move in) and playing up the comedic differences between American English and the words Callie learns from her new friends. All this gives readers a sense of being able to explore a new place and a new culture with Callie. Also notable is Callie’s new hobby, twitching (or birding, as most readers would probably call it). The book goes to great lengths to connect birding to Callie’s difficulties with making friends, but, ultimately, comparing people to specific types of birds does not add much to the story. More relevant is that birding gives the homeschooled Callie (homeschooled because she’s afraid to meet the kids at the local school) an opportunity to connect with her peers while learning a new skill she really enjoys. Sexism in birding also receives a lot of attention, with Callie having to deal with a prejudiced birding leader–something she does in part by learning more about the activity and the women and girls who have worked hard to make it more welcoming and equitable. Readers will enjoy getting to learn more about birding, and may even be inspired to try it out for themselves. Across the Pond is not exactly a standout novel, but it is a solid book, one that will appeal to readers who enjoy books set in different countries or books about unusual hobbies. The sympathetic characters also add a certain charm to the story. Joy McCullough is definitely an author I want to read more of.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    This book combines so many elements I love: wildlife facts, armchair travel, challenging the patriarchy, a bit of history...and some really lovely characters finding friendship in one another just when they need it most. Highly recommended!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emily Bush

    Having been to Scotland a few years ago, I loved reading this book. Callie and her family move “across the pond” because her parents inherited a castle. Because she’s been having some friend issues, Callie is excited for a new start. Once there, Callie convinces her parents to homeschool her, she joins a twitching (birding) club, and makes some new friends. When those new friendships hit a snag, Callie has to decide what being a friend really means. I think a lot of middle graders will be able t Having been to Scotland a few years ago, I loved reading this book. Callie and her family move “across the pond” because her parents inherited a castle. Because she’s been having some friend issues, Callie is excited for a new start. Once there, Callie convinces her parents to homeschool her, she joins a twitching (birding) club, and makes some new friends. When those new friendships hit a snag, Callie has to decide what being a friend really means. I think a lot of middle graders will be able to relate to this book. thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.

  9. 4 out of 5

    clara

    so. i feenished acrooss the poonde und... nah. we're not writing a whole review like that. i really enjoyed this comfort read. full of **british tings** so we love that. but it did feel arc-ish in that (shocking. of course it felt "arc-ish." it's an arc. anyways.) there were a few things that they hinted at and then we never heard anything else about. which is very annoying, because as you know i grow very attached to characters, and can't have them hinting at backstories and then never following u so. i feenished acrooss the poonde und... nah. we're not writing a whole review like that. i really enjoyed this comfort read. full of **british tings** so we love that. but it did feel arc-ish in that (shocking. of course it felt "arc-ish." it's an arc. anyways.) there were a few things that they hinted at and then we never heard anything else about. which is very annoying, because as you know i grow very attached to characters, and can't have them hinting at backstories and then never following up. it's rude and inconsiderate, guys. stop it. of course i expect characters to value my feelings. i value theirs

  10. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    I loved this book for so many reasons: 1. Scotland!! The setting of a Scottish castle and adorable quaint town made me want to go back for another visit ASAP. 2. The characters - especially the awesome librarian Esme. Also liked the inclusion of Raj a boy of South Asian heritage. Finally, I really identified with the main character Callie. When I was a middle schooler, I too felt caught between doing what I felt was right and peer pressure. So many of my peers seemed to be in a hurry to grow up I loved this book for so many reasons: 1. Scotland!! The setting of a Scottish castle and adorable quaint town made me want to go back for another visit ASAP. 2. The characters - especially the awesome librarian Esme. Also liked the inclusion of Raj a boy of South Asian heritage. Finally, I really identified with the main character Callie. When I was a middle schooler, I too felt caught between doing what I felt was right and peer pressure. So many of my peers seemed to be in a hurry to grow up and I was not. Callie learns to be brave and stand up for herself throughout this story and that lesson is one a lot of kids need to hear. 3. The birding theme was one I didn’t expect to enjoy, but now has me interested to learn more about the sport of Twitching. 4. The inclusion of Pippa’s journal added a lot of perspective to Callie’s story without stealing the focus of the book. I thought it was well done. 5. The ending leaves an opportunity for sequels which I hope there will be some! I didn’t want this story to end. Thank you to the publisher for providing this book in exchange for my honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nicki

    This story follows Callie, a 7th grade girl from California, as she and her family move to Scotland to live in a castle they inherited. She struggles with making friends in her new foreign home. She is holding onto the baggage of a betrayal by her 3 closest friends. She now has trouble trusting people's motives. She convinces her parents to let her homeschool instead of attending the local high school, but she needs a social outlet or they will make her enroll. She is not sporty or musical and h This story follows Callie, a 7th grade girl from California, as she and her family move to Scotland to live in a castle they inherited. She struggles with making friends in her new foreign home. She is holding onto the baggage of a betrayal by her 3 closest friends. She now has trouble trusting people's motives. She convinces her parents to let her homeschool instead of attending the local high school, but she needs a social outlet or they will make her enroll. She is not sporty or musical and hates performing, so her only option is the twitching (bird watching) club. Along the way she finds potential friends in the town librarian, a boy from the club and the gardener's granddaughter. She also discovers a journal written by the former owner of the castle when she was a girl nearly 70 years ago. She realizes that she is not the only one who has trouble fitting. This is a great, uplifting story for tweens and young teens. Many positive messages are related. I highly recommend it. *The Scottish jargon was a bonus and made me laugh.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    I've fallen in love with YA books. They are just charming, full of lovely characters and real-life situations. This one features "twitching", Scottish slang for bird watching, friendship, a helpful (of course) librarian, and a castle in Scotland. What more can you ask for? The story includes diary entries from 1939 when the castle's prior owner, Pippa, was evacuated to a rural family as a pre-teen, describing her sense of displacement. She is also a serious bird watcher. So travel "across the pond I've fallen in love with YA books. They are just charming, full of lovely characters and real-life situations. This one features "twitching", Scottish slang for bird watching, friendship, a helpful (of course) librarian, and a castle in Scotland. What more can you ask for? The story includes diary entries from 1939 when the castle's prior owner, Pippa, was evacuated to a rural family as a pre-teen, describing her sense of displacement. She is also a serious bird watcher. So travel "across the pond" from San Diego to South Kingsferry, Scotland, learn new slang, and discovery the joys of castle life. Thanks to the BookLoft of German Village (Columbus, OH) http://www.bookloft.com for an ARC to read and review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    With thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing for an early copy in return for an honest review. I love when books have a strong sense of setting and Across the Pond definitely does! I think kids will enjoy getting to travel through the pages to Scotland and imagine what it would be like to live in your very own castle. I think the themes related to friendship and family will be relatable to middle grade kids as they wrestle with figuring out who their "flock" is as they ar With thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing for an early copy in return for an honest review. I love when books have a strong sense of setting and Across the Pond definitely does! I think kids will enjoy getting to travel through the pages to Scotland and imagine what it would be like to live in your very own castle. I think the themes related to friendship and family will be relatable to middle grade kids as they wrestle with figuring out who their "flock" is as they are getting older. I think the bird aspect of the book was quite interesting and I hope it encourages kids to learn a bit more about birds. I also liked the glimpses back at World War 2.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Hicks

    I received this as an ARC from Net Galley, and the opinions below are mine: I absolutely fell in love with this book! The author transported me to Scotland, and now all I want to do is visit this idyllic setting in real life! It was a touching story of friendship and becoming comfortable with who you are. It was perfectly paced and had just enough to keep me wanting more! I also appreciated the writing style and found myself rereading some of the beautiful lines. I will be recommending this, and I received this as an ARC from Net Galley, and the opinions below are mine: I absolutely fell in love with this book! The author transported me to Scotland, and now all I want to do is visit this idyllic setting in real life! It was a touching story of friendship and becoming comfortable with who you are. It was perfectly paced and had just enough to keep me wanting more! I also appreciated the writing style and found myself rereading some of the beautiful lines. I will be recommending this, and I can’t wait to add it to my middle grade library! Highly recommended!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    I was drawn in immediately to Callie’s story and enjoyed the different themes throughout. A story of friendship, finding yourself and your people, bird watching, oh- and set in a beautiful castle in Scotland- what isn’t there to love? Personally I have never been into bird watching, but by the end of the story I actually could see myself trying it! There are also excerpts from an old journal that magically intertwine with Callie’s story. Definitely one I will be recommending.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Katra

    Thanks to NetGalley and Antheneum Books for making an advance copy of this title available for an honest review. Whether the pond in question is the Atlantic or an estate's small lake, there's something to be said for crossing over and trying to bridge the gap with those on the other side. This book is really about finding and making a home and about the importance of neighbors to make a home more than a place of residence. It's a heartwarming tale full of love and good advice. Thanks to NetGalley and Antheneum Books for making an advance copy of this title available for an honest review. Whether the pond in question is the Atlantic or an estate's small lake, there's something to be said for crossing over and trying to bridge the gap with those on the other side. This book is really about finding and making a home and about the importance of neighbors to make a home more than a place of residence. It's a heartwarming tale full of love and good advice.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Faye Rix

    Great job author, I really like your writing style. I suggest you join Novel Star’s writing competition on April. For more details check this link 😊: http://app.novelstar.top/index/index/... Great job author, I really like your writing style. I suggest you join Novel Star’s writing competition on April. For more details check this link 😊: http://app.novelstar.top/index/index/...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Charles Bellavia

    'Across the Pond" was received in a Goodreads Giveaway. I gave it to my 12 year old granddaughter. This is her review: "5 stars!! This book made me want to live in a castle. Joy McCullough uses words to transform fiction into reality!" 'Across the Pond" was received in a Goodreads Giveaway. I gave it to my 12 year old granddaughter. This is her review: "5 stars!! This book made me want to live in a castle. Joy McCullough uses words to transform fiction into reality!"

  19. 5 out of 5

    ⭐️Cordelia⭐️

    😍!! I loved this middle grade so much cause you can relate to it in so many Different ways! You should read this book if you want hear about Scotland, moving, castles, friend ship, or twitching (what they call bird watching in Scotland)!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Yumi

    Such a treasure each one of these books is 🙂 I've heard a few of them and can't wait to read most of these 🙂 If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to [email protected] or [email protected] Such a treasure each one of these books is 🙂 I've heard a few of them and can't wait to read most of these 🙂 If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to [email protected] or [email protected]

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Gutierrez

    I so want to live where this girl moved! What an adventure! How hard to move across the world, but a new beginning this would be. I loved feeling what she felt and learning how she navigates so much change. I truly enjoyed this middle grade novel. Thanks for sharing with #bookposse!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dara Yoder

    I rarely give too many 5 star reviews. I think I loved this book! I loved the setting, I loved the topic of 'birding,' and I LOVED the castle! So many moving parts made a great story! #bookposse I rarely give too many 5 star reviews. I think I loved this book! I loved the setting, I loved the topic of 'birding,' and I LOVED the castle! So many moving parts made a great story! #bookposse

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jenn of The Bookish Society

    All of this story was right up my alley- moving to Scotland, living in a castle, homeschooling, and birding. I can think of so many kids who will adore this story.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Roat

    Delightful! Now I want to go to Scotland! And take up bird-watching! And renovate an old castle!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Korra

    Great story! You can broaden your audience by publishing your story on Novel Star Mobile App.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    3.75 stars

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brehanna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think it is good

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cori

    I’m really digging middle grade books these days, and frankly I’ve decided they are enjoyable reading regardless of your age. Here’s why. They always have good messages, creative storylines, and typically have a happy ending of sorts. For example, here’s what I took away from this one. Friendships are complicated, and it’s hard when you feel left behind and rejected when not on the same page as the rest of your friends. Moving someplace new can be a great opportunity to start over and/or reinven I’m really digging middle grade books these days, and frankly I’ve decided they are enjoyable reading regardless of your age. Here’s why. They always have good messages, creative storylines, and typically have a happy ending of sorts. For example, here’s what I took away from this one. Friendships are complicated, and it’s hard when you feel left behind and rejected when not on the same page as the rest of your friends. Moving someplace new can be a great opportunity to start over and/or reinvent yourself, but it rarely will be the perfect life fix you imagined it will be. It’s always best to embrace who you are and find others that appreciate it. And last, but not least, the patriarchy is everywhere, even in bird watching, so it’s never too early to make sure our next generation of young women know what it is and how to push back against it. The Scotland setting was magical with the rundown castle and the quaint village, and there was a cast of multiple lovely characters to connect with alongside Callie, the main character. I actually learned a lot about birds and bird watching, and it makes it seem like a potentially fun hobby for young nature lovers to try out. I loved how the historical aspect was woven in with the snippets from Pippa’s journal and the brief introduction it provides to the experience of city children evacuated to the country during the war.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hana

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ella Rowan

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.