From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Radley Parker-Hughes has been volunteering in an orphanage in Haiti after the recent earthquake, but she returns home to a country in the grip of an even more chaotic situation. The American Political Party has assumed power, the president has been assassinated, and martial law prevails. Soldiers with guns at the airport, travel paper requirements-is this really the New Hampshire she left just a few months ago? And where are her parents, who are usually so prompt picking her up at the airport? Radley decides to get home any way she can, even though she will have to cross states lines, strictly forbidden by the new government. When she arrives, her parents are nowhere to be found, but the police are. She decides to leave, hiding in the woods at night, making her way to Canada, assuming that's where her parents went. One day she encounters an obviously ill young woman who is also trying to escape. The two form an uneasy alliance and, along with Celia's dog, Jerry Lee, they slip across the border. An abandoned shack becomes home, and through the kindness of strangers, they survive and become close. Once the chaos in the U.S. subsides, Radley makes her way back home, only to find that things will never be the same. A journey back to Canada can't soothe her pain, but a return to Haiti does. And so her story comes full circle. The prose is exquisite, almost poetic. The simple beauty of the narrative and lovely black-and-white photographs actually intensify the sense of confusion and disorder, giving readers a chilling feeling of reality. They see, through the use of flashbacks interspersed in the story line, how Radley grows from a confused, scared teen into a confident young woman, able to handle her own life. A masterfully written powerhouse of a book.-Diana Pierce, Leander High School, TXα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"The realistic treatment of the experiences of ordinary people in suddenly harsh circumstances makes for an absorbing character study, and the tale is suffused with an understated sadness and a vivid sense of place."--BCCB
"Hesse offers some of her best in lavish descriptions of nature and mood…”--Kirkus
"Hesse (Brooklyn Bridge) beautifully captures the changing landscape of a journey…”--Publishers Weekly
"A masterfully written powerhouse of a book."--School Library Journal, starred
"Mature high school students will especially appreciate this book, perhaps as they embark on the next step in their journey of life." -- VOYA