Monday, June 29, 2015

Adventure Pick: Kalahari

by Jessica Khoury
354 pages
ISBN: 9781595147653

Exciting and action packed, Kalahari is sure to please. This is one adventure teen readers will be glad they took!

Growing up the only child to zoologist parents in remote Africa has prepared Sarah for just about any encounter in the natural world; any encounter except with city teens her own age, that is. When Sarah's parents invite five teens to an experimental program, she is terrified of what to say to them and  how they will react with her. Her best friend is Theo. He has guided her over the years to survive in the Kalahari. He tells Sarah not to worry; that she's a teen just like them. He could not be more wrong. Sarah has nothing in common with the kids who have arrived. They are used to creature comforts like clean beds, fresh water, air conditioning and electricity.

When Theo and her father have to leave their camp to investigate what they think are poachers,  Sarah knows something has gone terribly wrong. She is now responsible for the helpless new kids. Cute arrival Sam offers to help. He says he trusts her and will help her find her father and Theo. They  must find food, water and shelter and get to the nearest town without poachers, wild animals or something much, much worse finding them first. Sarah calls upon all her skills to find the way to a small town. Anything can go wrong. They could die of dehydration or starvation. They could wander around for days without knowing if they are going in the right direction or not. The elements will take a toll on all of them unless they get to civilization fast.

The kids know something is wrong when animals begin to act strangely. Sarah spots a silver lion who threatens her. Knowing that a male lion does not attack unprovoked, Sarah searches for answers. The kids discover a lab that she thinks her mother must also have discovered just moments before her death. Could the silver lion and Sarah's mother have something in common? Where are the lab workers? Why have they fled?

Maybe not knowing the answers to all her questions is the safest bet but Sarah is strong and inquisitive. She has Sam to depend on when the going gets tough and it is getting tougher. Sarah begins to feel lightheaded and she can't blame it all on dehydration. Sam is seriously turning up the heat.

Kalahari will take readers on a wild adventure to a different part of the world than most are familiar with. They will love Sarah and empathize with her tragic discovery about her mother's death. Most of all, readers will want Sarah to survive and save the other teens from death.

Highly recommended grade 7-up. No profanity. No sex. Violence, science gone wrong, genetics gone wrong, evil scientists.

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

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