The Raft, a 2014 Teen Award Book, is a tale of enduring hardship in an effort to survive. Roby, a 15 year old girl hops a flight on a cargo plane en route to Midway Atoll (a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean) which has been her home for several years. Her parents who are research biologists are unaware that Roby decided to cut short her vacation in Hawaii. Little does Roby realize that the information she has gleaned over the years from living on Midway will help her when tragedy strikes. Tragedy occurs when the cargo plane crashes out at sea during a storm. She is saved by Max, the copilot, who becomes her companion on the life raft. Roby learns a great deal about Max during the struggle to survive. Out on the ocean, Roby endures physical and psychological hardships. When the raft finally lands on an island, survival is not a guarantee since the island is abandoned. Throughout the ordeal Roby struggles and tries to remain strong as her hope wanes.
By Ingrid Lee
During the Christmas season there seems to be an abundance of people looking for happy endings in movies and books. If you are one of those people, you might enjoy Dog Lost. Although Dog Lost has a happy ending, the characters find themselves in tough situations throughout the book. Mack, a young boy lives with his dad who has a volatile temper. Mack is never sure when his Dad’s temper will reach the boiling point. Much to Mack’s surprise, his dad brings him a pit bull puppy one day. Mack and his puppy Cash form a strong bond. However, in a fit of rage, Mack’s dad decides to get rid of Cash one day. Although broken hearted, Mack never gives up on finding his canine friend. What makes this book interesting is the way the author makes you understand the dog’s hardships as well as the boy’s. Another thing the author does is weave the tale around a cast of characters who are all somehow connected to the dog as well as each other. In addition, the author seeks to educate the reader about pit bulls and the preconceived notions people have of them. This book is an easy read, ideally suited for someone who loves dog books.
I love working in the middle school library because each day I get to work with wonderful students. In addition, I have access to lots of interesting books. It is always fun to help students connect to books they like, and to talk about what they are reading.