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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Escape Under the Forever Sky (Juvenile)

Released April 2009

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Everything about this book screams "Disney turn me into a children's movie!" ESCAPE UNDER THE FOREVER SKY is loosely based on the true story of a twelve-year-old Ethiopian girl who was abducted and tortured by a man and his accomplices who wanted to force her into marriage. It's an interesting story.

In Eve Yohalem's thrilling novel, thirteen-year-old Lucy Hoffman is bored. Her mother, the American Ambassador to Ethiopia, is always working. Her father took a job in Indonesia and rarely comes home. She's warned to stay in her compound by her overprotective mother. Like most teens, Lucy decides to sneak out with a friend.

Lucy's problems occur when she's kidnapped and locked away in a shack. She has no idea what her kidnappers want, but one of them has violent tendencies, so she realizes she must try to escape. Once she does, she's in the wilds of Africa where she is prey to both animals and her kidnappers. Using the information an African park ranger taught her about the area animals, Lucy does what she can to survive.

The opening few chapters of the novel introduce Lucy to the reader. She's a typical teen stuck in extraordinary circumstances. As a parent, I also sympathized with her mother who was simply doing as mothers tend to do.

Once Lucy is kidnapped, the book keeps you on the edge of your seat. From that point forward, I hated putting the book down for routine thinks like dinner preparations, laundry, etc. I loved it. The pace is perfect and the writing style and vocabulary is perfect for pre-teens.

I can see this book making an excellent movie. Can you say blockbuster? Hopefully, Hollywood takes note. I haven't enjoyed a Disney movie in a while. I get tired of the multiple spin-offs of Air Bud and the likes. ESCAPE UNDER THE FOREVER SUN could get them back on track!

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