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The novel is set against the backdrop of Saddaam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The protagonist is Jeff Connors, an American teen whose father works for an oil company in Kuwait. Through a series of errors, the boy is left behind during evacuation. Intelligent, resourceful, and fortunate enough to have some loyal Kuwaiti friends, Jeff makes his own way out of the country. On his journey, he witnesses the violence and brutality of the invaders, dodges gunfire and border patrols, faces certain death in the desert if he can't find water, and must come to terms with the death of a friend who tried to help him.
The boy's uneasy relationship with his father is explored in the novel as well. Jeff rebels against and yet struggles to win the respect of his father, an age-old dilemma that teens will relate to.
Highly recommended reading. We all need to better understand the Middle East today.
This book is much more than an exciting adventure story, though it is certainly that. It is also a look at the event that started the American involvement in the Middle East after 1990. I think every young person, and frankly adults as well, should read this tale of survival and personal growth set in a vitally important backdrop.