Wednesday, January 30, 2013
by S.A. Bodeen
2013 Tayshas Reading List (Texas)
Nominee for the 2013 ALA Quick Picks and 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults
Taut and gripping, The Raft will capture teen readers and take them on a scary adventure at sea. Imagine being all alone on a raft with no food or water stranded somewhere in the Pacific Ocean and afraid every minute.
Robie knows a lot about the Pacific and marine life. She's lives on Midway, a small atoll in the Pacific Ocean, where her parents are research biologists. She hops flights on small supply planes to Hawaii to visit her aunt all the time. She's in Hawaii with her aunt when her aunt has to leave the island for business. She agrees to let Robie stay at her apartment if her friend Bobbi checks up on her on a daily basis. Bobbi calls later and cancels and suddenly Robie is alone in Hawaii. A run-in with a local bum frightens Robie and she decides to hop a supply plane home to Midway.
Almost home, the plane experiences engine failure and they have to land at sea. Max, the new co-pilot, helps Robie exit the plane and into the life raft. He's been hurt and he sleeps most of the time. Days and nights pass. Hunger and thrist become unbearable. On top of it all, there seems to be a hole in the raft. Robie keeps bailing water to no avail. She knows she'll have to put Max in the water in order to fix the raft and save them both. She carefully puts him into a life vest and puts him in the water.
After many days, Robie spots land. It's a small island but she's not sure which one it is. She wakes up on the beach after a rough landing. The island is uninhabited but at least Robie is on dry land.
No one knows where she is and no one will be looking for her. She found the plane's manifest in Max's travel bag. Everything on the plane is listed on it except for her name. No one will know she was ever on that plane. She didn't call her parents on Midway before leaving Hawaii because phone communication is almost always down.
Can a 16 year old girl survive with no supplies whatsoever? Can she nurse Max back to health? Will they ever be rescued?
A shocking twist--that readers will never see coming--delivers a knock-out punch near the ending of the story.
Readers will admire Robie's tenacity and grit. She faces uncommon odds and beats them. She is a true surivivor and would undoubedly "outwit, outplay, and outlast" any other contestant of television's "Survivor."
Highly, highly recommended grade 7-up. No language. Some "ick" factor when Robie is forced to eat raw meat to survive and when she clubs a seal--the seal is woulnded and in pain, so Robie is forced to do the only humane thing she can think of.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)