By Kate Messner
448 pages – ages 9+
Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books on June 5, 2018
Synopsis from Publisher- “Nora Tucker is looking forward to summer vacation in Wolf Creek–two months of swimming, popsicles, and brushing up on her journalism skills for the school paper. But when two inmates break out of the town’s maximum security prison, everything changes. Doors are locked, helicopters fly over the woods, and police patrol the school grounds. Worst of all, everyone is on edge, and fear brings out the worst in some people Nora has known her whole life. Even if the inmates are caught, she worries that home might never feel the same.”
What I Thought- I was really blown away by the creative idea of having the story be told through letters, photographs, poems, interviews, text messages, and even some homemade comics being sent into a time capsule for the town – it really made the story shine. It adds an entire layer of depth to the book as we read the story through the time capsule. I like how we are only exposed to tidbits that somehow tell so much while revealing more questions. One thing I did like was how the story is less about the breakout and the convicts, and more about the emotional and mental stress of living during that time for the citizens. It also talked a little about racial injustices that occur in small conservative towns, as one of the girls recently moved to the area and is African American – a thing that may not have been an issue, if not for the unfortunate timing of the breakout and the citizens being on edge. The book is poignant, with humor laced deep within the terror of having escaped murderers running through your back woods. The characters still experience life as middle schoolers, having to deal with the breakout but with it still not always being the worst thing on their minds. I think kids will enjoy how normal every character is and will surely find someone to relate to. I am a fan of Messner, and I was thrilled to have a chance to read this book. I look forward to more books from Messner!
I give this book five out of five bookworms.
Categories: Age 9+