Paradise on Fire
Addy lost her parents some years ago in a fire. She lives with her grandmother, Bibi, in the Bronx, but now she is on a plane with five other African-American city kids, going to a wilderness camp in California. Addy’s not happy about it. She’d rather stay in the Bronx where she can always escape if something happens. She is always mapping, sometimes on paper, sometimes in her head, for that reason. Leo, who owns the camp, takes Addy under his wing, teaching her about different kinds of maps and about the wilderness. Near the end of the camp, the six kids and their two counselors take a hiking/camping trip into the forest. A forest fire breaks out, and it’s up to Addy to lead a group out. Can she do it?
Jewell Parker Rhodes has written a terrific survivor story that will have readers on the edges of their seats. The characters are fully developed and credible, the dialogue spot-on for the age, and the writing is quite wonderful. The setting almost becomes a character in its own right in this well-crafted story, coming alive and aggressive toward the end. It’s perfect for middle graders. Don’t miss this terrific book.
|Jewell Parker Rhodes
|Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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