Sarah is the odd man out on a field trip to the Everglades. She is a scholarship student at her preppy school and doesn’t fit in with the other kids. So it is no surprise when she pretends to be sick to get out of an outing. Instead she accepts the invitation of Andy, camp owners son, to take an airboat ride. The ride is exhilarating and scary, but even more scary is finding the boat sunk after their picnic lunch. Seems Andy forgot to put the plug back in after washing the boat. Now he and Sarah are stuck 10 miles from camp and no one knows where they are. They have to trek through the Everglades and evade alligators, wild boars, snakes and tons of bugs all with no food or water.
This was a very good, realistic survival story. Andy and Sarah are world’s apart. He is a redneck hick and she is a city girl scared of everything in the wild. She starts off pretty whiny with a chip on her shoulder. We don’t realize until the end what the chip is and I wasn’t sure why it was saved that long; it didn’t seem like that big of a deal to me. However, throughout their days in the swamp both Andy and Sarah learn how to survive and how to trust each other. Very entertaining and engaging read.
2013-14 Missouri Truman Award nominee.
Sarah didn’t really want to go on the weekend field trip to the Everglades, but her parents genuinely believe that she’ll get something out of it, so she goes anyway. Taunted by the other girls on the trip and ignored by the boys, Sarah attempts to keep to herself. She meets the boy whose parents own the camp, Andy, and agrees to go on an airboat ride with him. She pretends to be sick to avoid the next day’s outing and then takes off with Andy. The ride is awesome, even if there are tons of mosquitoes and the saw grass keeps cutting Sarah’s exposed flesh. The pair take a break at an old hunting cabin, but when they get ready to depart, they discover that their boat has now sunk. They are completely stranded and well over 10 miles from their camp. Worse, no one knows where they’ve gone. Their only option is to begin an epic trek across the everglades in the hopes of making it to the levee before nature takes its toll. Sarah and Andy brave alligators, water moccasins, wild boars and all kinds of nasty insects. Sarah starts out a bit on the whiny side, though we understand her reluctance and fear. She does grow considerably as a character throughout the course of her ordeal. This was a nice survival tale, made all the better by being completely plausible. The descriptions of the Everglades are spot-on and give the reader a real sense of place. A nice choice for the Truman Award list.