Saturday, August 22, 2009

Escape Under the Forever Sky

Escape Under the Forever Sky
by Eve Yohalem
220 pages
juvenile fiction
San Francisco : Chronicle Books, c2009

Lucy is the young daughter of the American Ambassador in Ethiopia. She lives a fairly restricted life within the walls of the compound. However, every few weeks she joins her friend Dahnie, a game warden, on his drives through the beautiful African wilderness. Lucy lives for these days as she is obsessed with African wildlife. Due to some bad behavior she is grounded for a month and can't leave her house at all. Being the stubborn child she is, she sneaks out at the first opportunity, putting herself in easy access to kidnappers. Once she faces the facts of her predicament she does everything she can to escape.

Can I just say disappointment! The plot sounded interesting, the setting fascinating and exotic, what went wrong? Lucy was spoiled and obnoxious, not to mention selfish. Not exactly endearing qualities in a main character. All the supporting characters were flat and undeveloped, even the kidnappers were not very intimidating. Moments of action and adventure were brief. Although lacking in character and plot, the book was informative about Ethiopian culture and animals. Despite what I have said, I would still recommend this to 4th and 5th grade kids who wanted to read a story that took place in another country. It is an easy read with enough to keep some kids reading.

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