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Danger in the Desert

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Overview

Scott and Robbie always wanted candy and root beer for dinner, but now they've got their wish, and it doesn't sound so good. They've been kidnapped in their mother's station wagon and left in the brutally hot desert with no food or water. When night comes-darker than they ever thought night could be and bringing coyotes and snakes-the brothers, eleven and nine, have to face the possibility that they might not be rescued. It's up to them to survive, using only what they happen to have in the station wagon. How can...

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Overview

Scott and Robbie always wanted candy and root beer for dinner, but now they've got their wish, and it doesn't sound so good. They've been kidnapped in their mother's station wagon and left in the brutally hot desert with no food or water. When night comes-darker than they ever thought night could be and bringing coyotes and snakes-the brothers, eleven and nine, have to face the possibility that they might not be rescued. It's up to them to survive, using only what they happen to have in the station wagon. How can a pair of shoes, a set of hubcaps, and the contents of their mother's shopping bags be used for desert survival? You won't be able to stop reading until you find out.

Two brothers attempt to survive in the desert outside Scottsdale, Arizona, after they are abandoned there following a carjacking.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dianne Ochiltree
Eleven-year-old Scott and nine-year-old Robbie are two brothers who can't normally survive five minutes with each other without a fight. How will they survive on their own in the desert? After being carjacked and abandoned by kidnappers, the two brothers realize that they may not be rescued in time. Using scouting survival skills, along with items that happen to have been left in the family station wagon, they confront wild animals, injuries, flash fires, floods, heat, thirst, and fear. There are, in fact, too many perils presented in too predictable a manner to maintain a believable plot line. While this middle grade novel presents valid, valuable survival information, young readers may have difficulty relating to the characters and following the plot long enough to pick up on it.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7--Scott, 11, and Robbie, 9, argue and scuffle constantly. After a trip to the local mall one hot Arizona afternoon, the brothers and their mother stop at a gas station. She leaves the car running while she goes to pre-pay for gas, and an armed man hijacks the car and kidnaps the boys. After meeting his jeep-driving partner, the fugitive leaves the boys and the car in the desert. Frightened but unharmed, Scott begins to drive the car back to civilization, but runs out of gas. The rest of the story describes the suffering, terror, and hallucinations the siblings experience in their attempt to survive. Told by Scott, the story moves rapidly with vocabulary that is appropriate for the topic and reading level. This exciting adventure has a skillful integration of accurate survival tactics. Libraries in the Southwest will especially want to consider it.--Eldon Younce, Harper Elementary School, KS
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873586641
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Publishing Llc
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Pages: 126
  • Sales rank: 408,297
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.63 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 15, 2010

    eminently readable book

    Scott Ratliffe, age eleven, and his brother Robbie, age nine, are typical brothers who fight a lot. Robbie throws away Scott's new Boy Scout badges, so Scott brings the hose in the living room to squirt Robbie. Both of them would prefer soda pop and candy for dinner. Their dad had died when Scott was seven, and their mom moved them from Colorado to Phoenix, AZ, because of her job. On one hot summer day, she takes them shopping, because she won't leave them at home alone any longer, and they buy some root beer gulpers. While their mom stops for gas and goes in to prepay, the boys roll around on the back seat fighting over one of Scott's Boy Scout badges when a man hijacks the car and takes the boys out into the desert.
    Another vehicle approaches, and the boys hope that it's a desert ranger, but he turns out to be the kidnapper's partner, and they go off in the other man's Jeep, deciding not to shoot the boys because they don't want to waste bullets. The boys think about driving the car out for help, but it's soon out of gas. They talk about trying to walk to the highway, but they're not sure of the right way. Stranded, they have to deal with all the dangers and frights of the desert-dark nights, howling coyotes, poisonous snakes, scorpions, a sudden thunderstorm, excessive heat-and hunger and thirst. All they have is the root beer gulpers and some Lifesavers. Maybe soda pop and candy for dinner isn't such a good idea! Can two pairs of shoes, a set of hubcaps, and the contents of their mom's shopping bags be used for survival in the desert? And will they be rescued in time?
    Danger in the Desert is a very exciting story that is hard to put down. I have only three complaints. The author, as do many modern authors of youth fiction, feels that she has to make several references to "peeing" to attract the middle school age crowd. There are a number of instances where Scott is said to have "lied" to Robbie to keep him from being scared. And the term "Oh God" is used a couple of times as an exclamation by Scott, who is narrating the story. Since "OMG" is so ubiquitous today, many parents might have no trouble with it, but there are still those of us who think that it is simply unconscionable for writers of children's books to use profanity, and that's exactly what it is-taking the Lord's name in vain. Otherwise, it is an eminently readable book that has the added benefit, according to Sgt. Clint Bassett of the Las Vegas Metro Search and Rescue, of being "a good story to get across a few important tips on survival education."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2003

    a great book with some helpful survival tips

    a great book that made me keep reading.i felt terrible for the two boys and was crossing my fingers everything would be alright. i reccommend this book for people who love realistic stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2000

    Very Realistic!!

    I have read this book 3 times, and it is just as interesting each time. This book is awesome, very detailed, and so realistic. If you like adventure stories about kids, you will love this one!~

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