Thursday, January 19, 2017
Mystery Thursday- Hideout
Key, Watt. Hideout
January 10th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
Sam is fairly new to the Mississippi community where his father has been hired as a police officer. He quickly befriends Grover over the summer, but when school starts finds out that Grover is considered a dweeb by their classmates. After school bullies beat up Sam and Grover badly, Sam feels badly about himself but doesn't want to confide in his supportive parents. He has been given a boat, the Bream Chaser, and is allowed to travel around in the swamps. When he goes up near abandoned fishing camps, he discovers a boy living there. Davey is waiting for his father and step brother, Slade, to arrive to be with him, but after Sam brings him clothing, food and supplies several times, it is clear that they are not coming any time soon. Davey also has a huge amount of money, so Sam is wary. When Slade finally shows up with beer and some friends, Sam is even more worried, especially when Slade threatens him and wants him to deliver marijuana. Things get worse and worse, but eventually Sam, Grover and Davey are able to get things worked out.
Strengths: The challenges that Sam is facing are spot on middle grade concerns. Being the new kid, saving face, wanting to deal with issues by oneself-- brilliant. Combine that with trying to save someone in an even worse situation, and adventure in the swamps, and you've got a great mix of elements. Can't wait to have this one for students.
Weaknesses: The descriptions of the swamps only strengthen my resolve to never, ever, ever live in the south.
What I really think: I need to try Alabama Moon again. Why haven't I bought that one? Fourmile and Terror at Bottle Creek are EXCELLENT.