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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

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781467731676
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
812,823
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Ginny Rorby grew up in Winter Park, Florida, and lived in Miami during her career as a Pan American flight attendant. She later earned an MFA in creative writing from Florida International University. Her goal, after wrapping up her flying career and her graduate studies, was to move to a place where she'd never be hot again. She now lives on the chilly coast of northern California with her parrot and way too many cats. Her novel Hurt Go Happy won the ALA Schneider Family Book Award. Visit her online at www.ginnyrorby.com

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Lost in the River of Grass 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! Through out the whole book, I ciuld picture everything that happened. It has everything that anyone would want in a story; action, romance, suspense, comedy, and more! The author did a great job in writing this, I would love to see a sequel to this, where Sarah and Andy meet again. The begining of the story kind of dragged, and it was boring, that was aboutthe first 40 pages or so. But the rest of the book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time XD I would definitly reccomend this to a friend and or family member. If you are reading this, get this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book was very well writen. I liked it very much. I hope you enjoy this book as much as me:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very enlightening with regard to the Everglades and nature's creatures while being an exciting and heart pumping adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is full of adventure it is a good book for 5th grade and every one else
Lolafalana More than 1 year ago
This book truly surprised me. I honestly thought I'd be up late at night jumping whenever I heard a strange sound while reading. (It's all Ginny's fault for saying "I hope you like snakes" before I read it . . .) Luckily enough for my heart (and nerves) this wasn't the case. Ginny Rorby must have magic fingertips that float across her keyboard for her to show us such a beautiful, stunning, and intriguing story. Really, there is no other explanation. Want proof? Read Lost in the River Grass. This is a story of survival after the two main characters, Sarah and Andy, are left stranded in the middle of the Everglades with ten miles separating them from civilization. This may not seem like a lot, but when all you see is marshes, alligators, snakes, and muddy water, you might reconsider. One of my favorite things about this novel was the way Ginny focused less on the useless details and more on the important (and interesting) parts. You see, Sarah is an outsider at her school where her mother works in the cafeteria. She's stranded on a field trip with a bunch of girls that loathe her just because she isn't rich, and the only thing she's able to look forward to is an airboat ride that Andy offers her. When the airboat sinks due to Andy's mistake of forgetting to put the plug in, everything in Sarah's life-school, the mean girls there, the fact that she's black with a southerner whose father sports the confederate flag-disappears to be replaced with the primal instinct to survive. What would one do to save their life? In this situation, you'd either rise to the occasion or sink below waters to be swallowed whole by a 'gator hole. (Or by a 'gator . . . or snake . . . ekkkk!) This is a powerful story that shows a young girl rising above it all, with no knowledge of how to live in the Everglades, and stepping out alive. Though Andy shows little to no fear and helps guide Sarah, it's Sarah that actually becomes the brave one, facing truly magnificent-and deadly-scenarios in nature. At first with spine-chilling fear, and later with awe and amazement. When all the odds are against her, Sarah pushes through her uncomfortable boundaries to be the victor. I truly applaud Ginny for providing us with this brilliant novel. (Queue the clapping!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Me and my sis read this it was so good i loved it!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read it to its a must read i read it in one day i couldnt put it down!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book i have ever read in my life i am really freaked out know and bit sad when sarah hit and killed the ... by accident ( dont wanna be a spoiler) :^) totally reccomend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it
skstiles612 More than 1 year ago
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books Pages: 255 Source: Received a review copy from NetGalley Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction, Adventure From Amazon: I don't realize I'm crying until he glances at me. For a moment, I see the look of anguish in his eyes, and 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. My Review: Ginny Rorby has crafted a story that will catch the attention of the most reluctant reader and hold them until the end. When a student feels out of place by her classmates while on a field trip, she makes a decision that could have devastating consequences. Upon entering the Everglades with her class, her immediate thoughts are how desolate and ugly it is. Her science teacher's hope is that his students will come to love the Everglades as much as he does. As Sarah and her new friend Andy do their best to survive and walk out of the Everglades Sarah discovers a beauty that she had not seen before. This story resonated with me so much. Since I live about two and a half hours north of the Everglades I have had the opportunity to visit many times. My first trip through, I was terrifying. I thought only of the alligators that filled the canals on each side of the highway. I wanted only to take an airboat ride because it looked like fun. I actually took two rides on that trip. The first was a fast paced jaunt through the saw grass. We went so fast I couldn't focus on anything. My next ride was with a group who really cared about teaching people about the Everglades. We would go a few feet and he would point out birds and flowers. I saw such a raw beauty. I've walked through some of the swamp. Now before you think I have totally lost it let me say that I am not sure I would survive on my own if lost in the Everglades. There are so many dangers. This book was spot on when it came to pointing out the various dangers. The research was very accurate when it came to survival tips as well. This is one book I think every school in Florida should have on their shelves. My reasons go beyond the lessons to be learned about the Everglades. The story has an underlying theme about fitting in and being different. I think it is something every child could identify with. I will proudly promote this to my students this next year.
PenelopeL More than 1 year ago
This can't really happen, this can't really happen, there's no way! This can't.... This is what I found myself muttering over and over in my mind, as I read Lost in the River of Grass. It seemed impossible, what these characters went through. I was even compiling a list at the back of my mind of things I would Google to verify if they were possible. I mean, things like what I read in this book can't possibly happen! As it turns out, though, they can; and it didn't take Google to convince me of that. In the book, the reader is taken along as Sarah and Andy work together to survive the Everglades...and believe me: this is about survival! We get to be there as they encounter gators, snakes, wild boars, and are put in many dangerous circumstances. We get to watch as they help each other grow and adapt; an element of the story I think Rorby did remarkably well. I even enjoyed Andy's character, though I initially saw him as a bit of a jerk. In the end I was grateful for that, because he acted like a normal 15-year-old boy. I praise Rorby for not writing a character who was 15, going on 25 (thank you!). I don't remember the point where I stopped caring if a survival tactic was viable or not, or whether an animal would really react the way the author portrays. I lost all sense of disbelief in this crash-course to the everglades, somewhere between swimming the gator holes and seeing the wild boars. Rorby's writing has an element of truth to it that made everything in this book seem personal, somehow. Reading it was like sitting at grandma's knee, listening to her tell a true story from her past...only this one involves saw grass and swamp trekking. Rorby definitely showed her survival know-how, and earned trust in my eyes. And the fact that reading about it all brought out every phobic tendency I've ever had, made no difference. I was enthralled. Admittedly, I almost didn't give this book a second chance after putting it down after the first few chapters. It began a little choppy, and I wasn't very attached to the characters. But when I did pick it up again, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found, and ended up finishing it in one sitting. I think I found it hard to read in the beginning because Lost in the River of Grass isn't filled with long, flowing prose. Neither does it use huge words, or attempt to captivate with an out-of-this-world love story. Truth-be-told, it doesn't flaunt many things besides the character's reactions to the dangerous environment around them. But it's that very environment, and their reactions to it, that will suck you in, glue your hand to this book, and make you simultaneously cringe, while speeding up your reading to discover what is next. I highly suggest Lost in the River of Grass! Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a cool book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok, so this book was given to me by a school teacher as a requirement to read for a grade. And i admit i HATE reading, but after i read this book i actually LOVED IT !!!!!!!!!!! I even told my grandmother to read it and she said it must be a good book because i couldn't tare  myself from it!! Thanks for such an amazing book!!!!!!!!!11
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one of the most single books that i have read in less than a day and remembre every page of it!(and i'm a super slow reader). Get this book dont even think about it get it! I love it for the fact that the charaters are around my age. But that is not the only reson its a to epic to be aswome kinda book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very great read couldnt put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book is awesome!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like eating poop and this book was just like it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great. Its like ba?an. Its a hero! - j.f
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm 11 and i read it so fast I could not put it down its thriller 10 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it is funny and sad at the same time but my favorate charictor is teapot beacuase he is just soooo cute!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book wsa ok i didnt really like it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very exciting