by Richard Lewis

Summary

Kirkus:

Drawing on experience as a volunteer relief worker in Indonesia and interviews with survivors, Lewis applies two human faces to the devastating 2005 tsunami. Toggling between two teens, Ruslan, an artistic Indonesian male, and Sarah, a slightly stereotypical spoiled American on vacation, readers are provided a multi-dimensional view of the region slightly before, during and after the tsunami strikes. This delivers a vivid and unflinching account applicable to a global audience. Despite its focus on the tsunami, elements of the region’s political unrest are also woven into the main storyline, increasing the drama of the narrative. However, Indonesia’s internal struggle takes a back seat to the tsunami and, unfortunately, is not adequately explained; this proves to be potentially confusing at times. Despite the emotional heaviness of this fictional story, Lewis tempers the tsunami’s horror with Ruslan and Sarah’s durable sense of hope and their new, but strongly forged friendship, which by the end borders on romance. (author’s note, maps) (Fiction. YA) (Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2006)

Awards:

  • Texas Tayshas Reading Lists: 2008

Topics

10th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, Cultural Differences, Friendship, Teen