Lost in the River of Grass

Lost in the River of Grass

4.5 32
by Ginny Rorby
     
 

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"I don't realize I'm crying until he glances at me. For a moment, I see the look of anguish in his eyes, then he blinks it away and slips off into the water. I immediately think of the gator. It's still down there somewhere. . . ."
A science-class field trip to the Everglades is supposed to be fun, but Sarah's new at Glades Academy, and her fellow freshmen aren't… See more details below

Overview

"I don't realize I'm crying until he glances at me. For a moment, I see the look of anguish in his eyes, then he blinks it away and slips off into the water. I immediately think of the gator. It's still down there somewhere. . . ."
A science-class field trip to the Everglades is supposed to be fun, but Sarah's new at Glades Academy, and her fellow freshmen aren't exactly making her feel welcome. When an opportunity for an unauthorized side trip on an airboat presents itself, it seems like a perfect escape-an afternoon without feeling like a sore thumb. But one simple oversight turns a joyride into a race for survival across the river of grass. Sarah will have to count on her instincts-and a guy she barely knows-if they have any hope of making it back alive.

Editorial Reviews

ALAN Review - Ashley Whitehouse
It was supposed to be a simple school field trip. What began as a boring and miserable experience for the new girl in school, Sarah Emerson, quickly becomes a fight for survival when she sneaks away for an unauthorized excursion with Andy, a boy she just met. Sarah finds herself stranded with Andy in the marshes of Florida. While the waters and sea grass appear calm, Sarah is keenly aware of the dangers that lurk within, such as alligators and pythons. As they trudge their way to safety, Sarah learns not only what lies beneath the surface of the waters, but also the depths of her own courage. Over their five-day journey, Sarah faces her fears while coming into her own identity. With the relatable character of Sarah, this novel of suspense with intermittent spurts of humor leads you through the marshes in a way no school field trip ever could. Reviewer: Ashley Whitehouse
Children's Literature - Patricia Williamson
Sarah is a ninth grader at Glades Academy. She was excited about being admitted to the Academy in a swimming scholarship, but soon learns that female peers can be cruel and vicious. She goes on a science trip at the prompting of her teacher, Mr. Vickers, which turns out to be as bad as any day at school is for her. She has little money, and is shunned by the other girls. Since the prospects of hanging out with the elite seem futile she agrees to go on a trip in airboat with someone named Andy. When they are about ten miles out, they stop on a marshy island. Andy forgets to plug the boat and it sinks, setting up an adventure to get back to civilization. At first they argue constantly and both must wrestle with their own prejudices about each other to become a unified force for rescue. There are gators in every hole, illegal hunters and poachers, snakes and biting insects to deal with in this adventure. Sarah grows as a character from a scared and weak girl into a person who is take charge and open to the adventures life hands her. Adding even more tension to the story is the discovery that Andy's father is a Confederate flag waver and that Sarah's family is African American. Their family prejudices create an interesting conflict but do not prevent Sarah and Andy from forming an unshakeable bond. Reviewer: Patricia Williamson
VOYA - L. Guenthner
Sarah, accepted to Glades Academy on a swimming scholarship, is ridiculed by her classmates, and her mother works in the school's cafeteria. She is visiting the Everglades for a class field trip when she stumbles upon Andy, who was abandoned by his birth mother and has a father who is in and out of prison. He offers to take her on an airboat ride, and she agrees to go and is enjoying herself until the unthinkable happens: The boat sinks, and no one knows their whereabouts. The two, and a duckling, must make their way to a levee. Poisonous snakes, alligators, and other dangers await them. Sarah must overcome her fear, and Andy must hide his so they have a chance at survival. Both teens are looking for acceptance and find it in one another—together they make a great team. This teamwork is what keeps them alive for another day in the subtropical wilderness. Sarah is interested in nature and gains a deeper respect for it. At one point, she even handles a snake. While Andy can be selfish, he is patient and he helps Sarah take care of her duckling, named Teapot. This book will appeal to survival and wilderness story enthusiasts. Reviewer: L. Guenthner
School Library Journal
Gr 5�8—The Florida Everglades provides the setting for two barely acquainted teens to embark on a survival adventure. During a weekend field trip to an environmental center, Sarah, 13, meets Andy, 15, the camp manager's son. As a scholarship student new to Glades Academy, Sarah feels excluded by the "Barbies," her snooty designer-clad classmates. Feigning illness, she skips a scheduled outing and joins Andy for a daytrip into the wilderness. Packing few supplies, she hopes to shoot some photos with her father's treasured Leica camera and be back before her teacher realizes she is absent. Alligator and snake sightings portend danger lurking in the outwardly docile landscape, and Darwinian foreshadowing intensifies as Sarah takes the helm of the sputtering airboat, accidentally running over some ducklings. As the teens explore a remote island, their airboat sinks beyond saving. Options for rescue are few, so they slosh miles through knee-deep swamp, experiencing overexposure to sun, mosquito bites, and encounters with wildlife. Factual details about local flora and fauna make this more than just a survival story, creating an intimate portrait of the Everglades. The two help each other to overcome some specific fears, but heretofore unrevealed details about Sarah's African-American heritage and Andy's Confederate flag-toting father are unnecessary to the satisfying ending.—Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews

Thirteen-year-old Sarah's new classmates at Glades Academy don't welcome her—she's there on scholarship, and her mother works in the school cafeteria. On a field trip to the Everglades, Sarah seizes the chance to get away by sneaking off on an airboat ride through the saw-grass marsh with the guide's 15-year-old son, Andy, taking only her backpack, a camera and some mosquito spray. A stop at a remote fishing camp ends in disaster when the boat sinks, and they're stranded, surrounded by alligators and snakes, with half a bottle of Gatorade and a can of SPAM. Andy knows what they're up against, but Sarah refuses to believe that they must leave the tiny island to trudge the 10 miles back to land. Wildlife and vegetation are vividly described; Sarah's fear is palpable in scenes of near-disaster, and readers will cheer when she and Andy make it safely out of the swamp after five days. However, the first-person narrative is uneven, marred by gaps that make it hard to fully visualize some situations, and there are too few transitions to support some rather sudden instances of closeness between Sarah and Andy. Rorby cleverly offers only subtle hints that Sarah is African-American and Andy is white until late in the story, adding depth to this survival story framed within the story of an outsider. (Adventure. 12-14)

Kirkus Reviews

Thirteen-year-old Sarah's new classmates at Glades Academy don't welcome her—she's there on scholarship, and her mother works in the school cafeteria. On a field trip to the Everglades, Sarah seizes the chance to get away by sneaking off on an airboat ride through the saw-grass marsh with the guide's 15-year-old son, Andy, taking only her backpack, a camera and some mosquito spray. A stop at a remote fishing camp ends in disaster when the boat sinks, and they're stranded, surrounded by alligators and snakes, with half a bottle of Gatorade and a can of SPAM. Andy knows what they're up against, but Sarah refuses to believe that they must leave the tiny island to trudge the 10 miles back to land. Wildlife and vegetation are vividly described; Sarah's fear is palpable in scenes of near-disaster, and readers will cheer when she and Andy make it safely out of the swamp after five days. However, the first-person narrative is uneven, marred by gaps that make it hard to fully visualize some situations, and there are too few transitions to support some rather sudden instances of closeness between Sarah and Andy. Rorby cleverly offers only subtle hints that Sarah is African-American and Andy is white until late in the story, adding depth to this survival story framed within the story of an outsider. (Adventure. 12-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781467731676
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
212,198
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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