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Author: Key, Watt
The son of a Mississippi policeman finds a boy living in hiding in the wilderness and tries to help him without giving away his secret.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 187917
Kirkus Reviews (11/01/16)
School Library Journal (01/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2017 Sam’s police chief father buys Sam a fishing boat when the family moves to the Pascagoula Delta, and the middle-schooler is out on the water when he comes across Davey, who is trying to repair an illegal fishing camp hut in preparation for the arrival of his father and older brother Slade. Sam senses all kinds of wrong in this scenario: Davey has no food, no real repair materials or tools, and little idea how to go about his task. He’s determined to stick it out for his family, though, and soon Sam is sneaking supplies to him and even lying to his parents in order to overnight at the camp. Davey’s dad never arrives, but Slade does, accompanied by a pair of beer-swilling cronies and packing plenty of nasty attitude but no love for little brother. They’ve robbed a local business and are preparing to sell marijuana they’ve been cultivating out beyond the cabin, and now that Sam has discovered them, they expect him to pitch in and thus implicate himself in their crimes. The contrasts between Sam’s comfortable new home and the shadowy cypress swamps, between the freedom of plying the waterways in his own boat and his sudden entrapment and isolation with emotionally fragile Davey, make for a compelling read that will keep a tween audience burning the flashlight batteries late into the night. The ending might be a tad too tidy and sweet, but at least it should keep nightmares at bay. EB - Copyright 2017 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2017 Gr 7 Up—An adventure story that follows in the tradition of Gary Paulsen's survival tales. After an embarassing incident at school, Sam's father gives Sam his own fishing boat. But Sam has never had any interest in fishing. While exploring the swamp near his house, he discovers a boy named Davey who has been living alone. Determined to help, Sam brings Davey food and supplies and strikes up a friendship. But Davey has a secret that could put the boys' lives in danger. Short chapters filled with action and adventure keep the pacing taut and will entice reluctant readers. Several references to marijuana use may make this selection more appropriate for mature readers. VERDICT A good pick for action/adventure fans.—Patrick Tierney, Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary School, Providence - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 01/01/2017 From the author of Alabama Moon (2006) and Terror at Bottle Creek (2016) comes an exciting adventure set in Mississippi’s Pascagoula River marshlands. When 12-year-old Sam finds another boy, Davey, living alone in an abandoned fishing camp, Sam’s efforts to help him draw the attention of a trio of criminals. Emotionally reeling from a beating at school, Sam wonders if he’s been marked as a loser for good. He wants to do something brave, like his police chief dad, so he’s taken to piloting his boat in the bayou’s unmapped areas, where he finds Davey. Davey claims to be waiting for his father and brother, but as Sam begins sneaking him food and supplies, it’s clear Davey isn’t telling the whole truth. He’s hidden piles of money, which remind Sam of a robbery his dad is investigating. Sam’s struggles to fit in at school, to like himself, and to solve his own problems reflect middle-grade concerns. The boys’ survivalist adventures in the swamps are suspenseful, and the reassuring ending relies on supportive adult intervention. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.