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“You cannot help someone get up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself.” More
Summary: It all started on a hot, sticky, and boring day in late July. Geri and Jay, two 13-year-olds, were looking for something interesting to do. They decided to hike up to Blue Pool, a quarry pond reputed to be deep and hazardous. With only a rough sense of direction, the two friends set out on their trip. The adventure proved to be far more difficult and dangerous than expected. This is an adventure whose underlying theme deals with self-image, decisions, and consequences.
Type of Reading: family reading, read aloud book, independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 13; read yourself: 10 and up
Interest Level: 10 and up
Reading Level: 5.8
Young Reader Reaction: pending
Adult Reader Reaction: There’s a positive message for pre-teens in the relationship that Geri and Jay have fostered. The reader is privy to some poor decisions and the consequences. Those vignettes also shed light on the responsibility that a friend has to challenge something which they feel is questionable.
Pros: On the surface this is an adventure story and it can stand by itself. However, it is also a story about self-image in the pre-teen years, as Jay and Geri have been shunned as “different” by their peers at school. The layers of friendship, growing up, decision-making weave a story that will attract teens.
Cons: None. The author knows his audience and is superb at his craft.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. It is a great addition to any 10 to 14-year-old's bookshelf. Hopefully, the librarian and middle school teachers would have access to a copy of the book. Readers will return more than once.