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The Raft Hardcover – August 21, 2012

232 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6 Up-Step aside Karana (Island of the Blue Dolphins)-teen fiction has a new castaway heroine. Robie loves traveling from the Midway Atoll where she lives with her parents, both researchers, to visit her aunt in Honolulu. She's taken the trip by cargo plane many times by herself, but when a storm hits mid-flight, Robie has to bail out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. With the storm still pouring water over them, the plane's copilot, Max, inflates the emergency raft and drags Robie to safety. On the raft with a man she doesn't know, over hundreds of miles of ocean, her problems really begin. Survival means patching up the leaking raft, staying hydrated, and avoiding the tiger shark that's following her. Eventually she must face the reality that rescue may not be coming. After days and days of torture on the open water, she washes up on the beach of an uninhabited island. Is this island her salvation or her final resting place? Fast-paced and intense, Robie's story has a tight grip on readers up to the very last page. What will stick with them are the choices Robie makes amid her grim reality and her determination to stay alive. There is nothing like losing everything to make you appreciate what you have, like parents who love you and clean drinking water. This book will satisfy anyone who likes a good survival story.-Richelle Roth, Boone County Public Library, KYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


…readers who pass this novel around will have lots of fun debating exactly what saves her [Robie] in the end. (BCCB)

This book will satisfy anyone who likes a good survival story. (School Library Journal)

A compelling survival adventure. (Kirkus) old-fashioned adventure story. (Horn Book)

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Lexile Measure: 680L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends; 1 edition (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312650108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312650100
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

S.A. Bodeen is the author of the acclaimed YA novels The Compound, The Gardener, The Raft, and The Fallout. She is also the author of the Shipwreck Island series for middle grade readers. Raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania, an experience which inspired her to write Elizabeti's Doll, her first award-winning picture book. She has a BS in education, an MFA in writing, and has lived in eight states, two African countries, and on a remote Pacific atoll. She currently lives in the Midwest and travels the country doing school visits.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Literary Meanderings on August 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
That Raft is the story of 15-year-old Robie. She lives with her parents on Midway Atoll in the Hawaiian Islands. An island where the phones & internet can go down for days at a time, there are only 3 channels on cable, everyone knows everyone... and Robie is the only teenager on the entire little island. So, Robie visits her aunt in Honolulu as much as she can. The Raft opens up to one of these visits.

Robie is disappointed when her aunt gets called away for business and she has to cut her visit short. The phones are down at Midway, so Robie boards a service flight (a flight that takes supplies and food items to the island - so it's just the pilot, co-pilot, and Robie on the plane) without letting anyone know. When that plane goes down into the Pacific, Robie and the co-pilot, Max, are the only ones to make it out alive. The pilot sinks right along with the plane. With Max's help, Robie makes it into the yellow life raft he inflated as the plane was going down. The two of them are left with no water, no food but a single bag of Skittles, and nothing but the vast ocean in sight.

Robie asks herself "What's worse than this?" - and soon finds out.

- - -

Let me first list my one complaint about this book. Robie would yammer on and on about these friggin' seabirds! I mean, pages and pages of explanations on their mating habits, egg laying, eggs hatching, birds learning to fly, getting eaten up by sharks, making nests, yadda yadda yadda! I mean, it just went on and on and on. I wanted to skip ahead because it was just too much. It didn't really have a point either.

Okie dokie, Robie was a character that had to grow on me.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews on August 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
3.5 stars

No joke, I have a fear of flying over the ocean. I swear if I ever had to do that I'd 1), need to sedated, because I wouldn't be able to sit that long, and 2), I would be beyond paranoid that the plane I would on would crash into the ocean. Don't ask me why I have this fear, because I've never flown over the ocean and you'd think flying over the ocean would be safer than flying over the mountains. Regardless, my fear becomes Robie's nightmare in The RAFT.

The Raft is a book I've been looking forward to reading. I had been hearing some rave reviews about it, and I was really looking forward to reading about Robie and her ocean adventure (if you can call it that). When I sat down to read it, I felt the beginning was a little slow for me, and I was just reading a book vs connecting to it, but I totally got was S.A. Bodeen was doing, and when I got to a crucial moment in the book, I realized she had set up Robie's story perfectly. What she did was introduce me to the remote island life Robie has grown accustom to, what made her hop a plane and go visit her Aunt on the main island, and why she was able to hop on the cargo plane heading back to the island where her parents were at. If she hadn't done all that, it wouldn't be as realistic as to why a teenager was allowed to get a plane bound to a remote island without having to check in and without the permission of her Aunt or parents. Plus, that last element added a real sense of fear in Robie when she realizes she's drifting alone in the middle of the ocean and no one has any idea where in the world she's at (literally).

Robie is an amazing kid! She's smart, resourceful and mentally tough, which play a key role in her survival in this story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hannah @ Paperback Treasures on December 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Going in with basically no expectations, I was pleasantly surprised by The Raft. It isn't perfect, but it's a good read with an unusual type of story for contemporary YA, and I'm glad I picked it up.

I'd have thought that this might get a little boring, Robie just sitting on that raft for days without much happening, but that is so not the case - The Raft is fast-paced and action-packed. Robie has to deal with loads of different dangers, and it never gets boring. Those parts almost didn't read like contemporary, since you usually only get that much life-or-death danger and fast-paced action in dystopians, paranormal, etc. I was fearing for Robie's life throughout the book.

Nature plays a very important role in The Raft. There are those dangers for Robie, but there are also scenes where Robie just observes the nature she encounters on the raft and on the island. That might sound boring, but it wasn't, at least not to me. Those scenes have a slower pace than the survival ones, but I still really liked them, because they're not something you read about every day. Those scenes kind of made me love and hate nature, at the same time.

The twist is what I liked best about The Raft. There were some things I didn't like in the beginning, that didn't make sense or didn't seem realistic to me, but it all worked with that twist. I never saw it coming, and it changed everything about how I looked at the story. The unexpected twist is what made it all woth it, to me, despite the issues I had with other aspects of the novel.

I'm not sure what to make of Robie's character. She's not always likeable because she does get kind of whiny, and there were times I was annoyed by her crying all the time and wasting resources and being too much of a wimp to, you know, do something.
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