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Summary: The only good thing about being in Ethiopia was the chance to see the wildlife. It was not about living in the American compound; it was not because her dad was half a world away and she was stuck with her mom; and it was certainly not being the Ambassador's daughter. When Lucy sneaks out with her friends, she is kidnapped and becomes the prize in an international effort to force the United States to change its policy. Using the skills she admires in her heroes - Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas - she plans her escape. Her captors pursue her, and so do the wild animals. Will she survive? This is realistic fiction, told in the first person.
Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 10 and up; read yourself: 10 and up
Interest Level: 10 and up
Reading Level: 5.2
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: At the end of the first chapter, I wasn't sure I would like the book. I didn't see what the reviewers were seeing. By the third chapter, I was hooked. The story is not just compelling, but incredibly informative. It has spurred me to learn more about Birute Galdikas.
Pros: Despite being set in a foreign environment to most kids, all teens will relate to Lucy's feelings and the relationship with her parents. This is a fast-paced novel that will appeal to all readers.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book that I'd definitely read again. Teens (particularly girls who love animals and animal science) will enjoy many times over.
Educational Themes: This is a great read for independent reading and a book club, too. The author provides discussion questions at the end
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, realistic fiction, family, Young Adult
Date(s) Reviewed: March 2013
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.