Thursday, January 30, 2020

96 Miles

Esplin, J.L. 96 Miles
February 11th 2020 by Starscape
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus'

John and Stew Lockwood are trying to get from their home in Nevada to the along state route 318 after the power has gone out. Their father, a survival prepper, had food and water saved up, but that was stolen, and their father is out on the road and can't get back home. They have friends at Brighton Rnach (a tortoise ranch!) 96 miles away, and the boys are determined to walk there. While they are getting water out of a toilet in a house, they run into Cleverly and Will, who are also on their own, having left their grandparents' house because their grandfather was giving the children all of their food. It's not easy to walk across the desert with few supplies, and the children also come across the men who stole the Lockwood's supplies. When Stew's health becomes imperiled, John and Cleverly take off in the night to get water from a reservoir, steal a truck, and are able to get a little farther. When they finally arrive at the ranch where Stew's friend Jess lives, her brother tries to chase the children off so they don't cut into their stores of food and medicine. Luckily, the power comes back on and more crises are averted, but the children are well aware that they need to be prepared in the future!
Strengths: This was a quick and compelling read for children who want adventure, survival, or light dystopian tales. It was scary but not overly so, and the evil people got their due. The relationships between the children were realistic, and the survival tips were top notch. There were even moments of humor that were appreciated.
Weaknesses: The end was a little abrupt, but I was oddly okay with that. It made the whole book a bit less terrifying.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing! I love the cover, and this is a great survival tale along the lines of Philbrick's The Big Dark or Walter's The Rule of Three.
Ms. Yingling

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