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Overboard Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Cricket Books; 1st edition (April 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812626524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812626520
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,444,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this first novel based on a 1996 ferry accident off the coast of Sumatra, Emily, a 14-year-old American living in Indonesia with her doctor parents, boards an overcrowded, tilting ferry (without her parents' knowledge) after her uncle invites her to visit him on a nearby island. As the ship lists to "an unnatural angle," the captain distributes life vests. Emily hands hers to a younger boy who is trying to hang on to the railing. This heroic act seems uncharacteristic of the protagonist who, up to this point, has been unhelpful and rude to her parents and their charges. The girl then becomes trapped in the life-vest locker, which immediately fills with water. "The next thing she remembered was being near the surface, choking, searching for air, and then vomiting. How could she be sick in the water without holding on to anything? It was a joke; she was heaving and drowning at the same time." Such muddled, cumbersome prose weighs down the chronicle of Emily's nightlong struggle to survive in the sea, heavily reliant upon coincidences. During the course of the evening, she hooks up with the boy to whom she gave her life vest, a Muslim child who explains some of the tenets of his faith as they bob along in the water. Ages 12-15.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8 With blond hair, green eyes, and pale skin, Emily, 14, feels like an outsider on the island of Sumatra. Her parents have traveled to Indonesia as medical personnel with a deep desire to help, but she desperately wants to return to Boston. She rejoices when she hears from her exploring uncle who is on a nearby island and, without gaining her parents' permission, she boards the ferry to visit him. A happy reunion is not to be, however, as the overloaded and aging boat sinks. Long hours elapse slowly as Emily attempts to escape the horror of drowning passengers and swim to land. She finds an Indonesian boy, Isman, floating in a life jacket, and they draw strength from one another. Their relationship provides the focus for this adventure story. Isman's quiet yet strong Islamic faith bolsters Emily's flagging courage as well as frustrates her when he struggles over the decision to eat something during a day of Ramadan. Each moment brings the two new problems-cold, hunger, sharks, a whirlpool, fear-and actively holds readers' interest. An author's note describes the inspiration for this unique book-a real ferry accident off the coast of Sumatra in 1996 when only 40 of the 400 passengers survived. -Crystal Faris, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
My daughter and I each read this book in one sitting.
J. Enders
On the positive side, Ms. Fama writes very well; her turn-of-phrase allows the reader the develop some real momentum.
Drama/English teacher
My 6th grader read this book on her own, while my 2nd grader and I read it together.
Rena Repetti

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Enders on August 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
My daughter and I each read this book in one sitting. It is simply too good to put down. The plot, the imagery and the character development are extraordinary. What's more, this novel transmits wonderful values of tolerance and true heroics. When's the last time you read a book about a teenage girl that was at once realistic (her moodiness, dissatisfaction with life) and idealistic? I love that my daughter might easily identify with such a character and perceive altruism as a fact of life. Also, in this time of anti-immigrant sentiment, this book lovingly reminds us of the value of people quite different from ourselves. You'd never know right off that the book has these effects because it disguises all of this in ONE GREAT READ! It will be the birthday gift for all our friends this year!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Drama/English teacher on June 13, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
OVERBOARD is the kind of book that is relatively short, but goes on a little too long. It relates the story of a teenage girl who must figure out how to survive after an Indonesian ferry she's been traveling capsizes.

The plotting in the first half is terrific -- with excellent middle school vocabulary; accurate characterization of the protagonist, and well-timed pacing of story. The second half seems to go on and on though with this girl swimming and swimming and swimming (more than she would if she were in an Ironman competition). The rising action and ensuing complications towards her finding safety eventually seem over-plotted and highly coincidental. In trying to write a nail-biter, I'm afraid the author took us too far; the mounting tension slowly becomes increasing frustration.

The exposition at the top of the novel works, but by the end I believe the reader would have been hoping for more character development for Emily (the protagonist).

On the positive side, Ms. Fama writes very well; her turn-of-phrase allows the reader the develop some real momentum. I enjoyed the book, however, I don't believe I'll come back for a second read.

I do recommend this book with no reservations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 15, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Review On Over Board

"It won't open. This is what it's like to die, but don't worry it will be quick." That's the voice of Emily's (the main character) mind as she is trapped in a locker of a sinking boat. This book is called Over Board By Elizabeth Frame. This book is about Emily and a young boy she finds floating in the ocean. They go through so much like being attacked by sharks to escaping a whirlpool!

"You may not have the strength to keep going but, a little voice inside you says to keep going even if you die trying." That's not from the book, but it's my opinion that goes through my head as I read what Emily and Isman have to do to stay alive. So I think the theme is strength because they need the strength to keep on going. It may be hard, but just think of the ones who care.

There are two main characters. Emily and Isman. Emily is eleven and she was crossing to Indonesian Sea to see family when the boat over flows with people and sinks. Isman is a six year old who Emily finds in the sea. His parents and sibling died. There are also Richard and Catherin who cared and watched over Emily when they were fighting for their live's. Then later in the book Emily finds Isman and they drift away from Richard and Catherin. They later find someone dies. I'm no going to tell you who dies because I want you to find out and read Over Board.

There is not a place; the whole book is mainly in the Indonesian sea. Where Isman and Emily fight for their life.

Finally, if you like sad, scary, adventure books this is for you.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Muslima on May 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is worth anyone's time. You learn about culture and religon (*grin*). The main character sounds like a lot of teenagers today (I know because I am one). They often feel sorry for themselves and are selfish. The main character is like this but under all of that she's strong. Through this expierence she becomes mature.
Very good book. I read it a long time ago but it is still fresh in my memory.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 6, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Overboard is an excellent book. It is filled with suspense, it makes you want to never stop reading, and more! It is about a girl, Emily, who moves to Indonisia because her parents are doctors and came to help people in need. So Emily, one day gets a phone call from her Uncle, and after she hung up, she fell asleep, and in the morning couldn't find it because it was somewhere lost in her sleepng bag. So by the time her parents needed to answer an emergency call to save someones life, they couldn't fund it, so someone died because they didn't get the phone call on time. Then Emily's parents got mad at her, so she ran away and got on a fairy, because she was going to her uncles, which she was going to go in a few days anyway. On the fairy ride, Emily meets a newlywed couple, Catherine and Michael, who watch over her so she wont get lost, and to comfort her. Emily also meets a little indonision boy, Isman. Then, all of a sudden, the boat starts to tip, then sinks, and goes overboard, and everyone gets dumped in the water, and some die. Emily goes in the water, and has a hard time surviving, and goes through many obstacles. But you will have to read this book to find out what happens to her!
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