Author: Mikaelsen, Ben
Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books
Published: April 2003
Retail: $6.99 OUR PRICE: $4.25
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Binding Type: Paperback
Annotation: The award-winning author of "Touching Spirit Bear" delivers a fast-paced adventure of a Guatemalan boy who, along with his little sister, makes an escape to America in a heart-pounding voyage in a dangerously small kayak. Paperback.
|BISAC Categories: |
- Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure
- Juvenile Fiction | Family | Siblings
|Library of Congress Subjects: |
- Kayaks and kayaking; Fiction.
- Survival; Fiction.
- Emigration and immigration; Fiction.
|Lexile Measure: 690|
|Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11|
|Book type: Juvenile Fiction|
|BISAC category: JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / General|
|Target Age Group: Age 9-11|
|Target Grade: Grade 4-6|
|Grade level: Grade 4-6|
|Physical Information: 7.50" H x 5.00" L x 0.75" W (0.35 lbs)|
|Lexile Level: 690|
|Bargain Category: Upper Elementary, Middle School, Historical Fiction, Geography, Chapter Books|
|Grade level(s): 4th, 5th, 6th|
|Accelerated Reader Info|
|Quiz #: 58912
Reading Level: 4.3 Interest Level: Middle Grades Point Value: 7.0
|Scholastic Reading Counts Info|
|Quiz #: Q31985
Reading Level: 5.4 Interest Level: Grades 6-8 Point Value: 13.0
|Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.|
When guerrilla soldiers strike Santiago's village, they destroy everything in their path -- including his home and family. Santiago and his four-year-old sister escape, running for their lives. But the only way they can be truly safe is to leave Guatemala behind forever. So Santiago and Angelina set sail in a sea kayak their Uncle Ramos built while dreaming of his own escape. Sailing through narrow channels guarded by soldiers, shark-infested waters, and days of painful heat and raging storms, Santiago and Angelina face an almost impossible voyage hundreds of miles across the open ocean, heading for the hope of a new life in the United States.
|Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Fall)
Two Guatemalan siblings, twelve-year-old Santiago and four-year-old Angelina, witness the burning of their village and the murder of their family during a military raid. The children find their uncleĆs sailing canoe and undertake a treacherous journey to Florida. Mikaelsen is careful not to sensationalize the children's heroics in this harrowing survival story. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews
|Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2002 May)
Gr 5-9-When soldiers burn his Guatemalan village and kill his family, 12-year-old Santiago escapes with his 4-year-old sister, Angelina. Following the instructions of his dying uncle, he makes his way to Lake Izabal, where he takes his uncle's small sailing canoe and begins a terrifying journey north and across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida. The siblings face starvation and dehydration; lack of sleep; strong sun, wind, and waves; and their own fears and sorrows to win their game of Staying Alive. The present-tense narrative suggests the speech of someone whose first language is not English, and Santiago's first-person account makes the adventure even more immediate. The opening scene is memorable, as the burning of the village turns the night sky red. However, the necessary flashback to explain how a mountain boy learned rudimentary sailing and the almost unbelievable details of the children's trip between their village and their uncle's home give readers pause, rather than pulling them into the suspense of the story. At times, the anger in the author's message almost overwhelms the action. "The rich have no conscience," their uncle's friend says. The first Americans they encounter call them "stinking boat people" and tell them to go away from their private beach club. In an afterword, the author explains that the soldiers who massacred villagers were armed by the U.S. government as part of our fight against communism. Thus, we share the blame for such atrocities. In spite of the heavy-handed message, readers who persevere through the first third of the book will be rewarded with a terrific survival story.-Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.