Pages - 180
Published by Anderson Press in 2008, republished in 2009
It's tough being the new kids, but when you're not the only one it's not so bad. The problem was Sam was always the new kid and always the only one. He'd moved schools four times and moved countries three times - and he was only eleven. That had to be a bit of a record. He should write to the Guinness Book Of World Records and get them to enter it as a new category. He'd be famous. Not that he wanted to be famous., but it would have been a pretty cool thing to tell people.
Sam knows that he and his friend Lloyd made a colossal mistake when they accepted the ride home. They have ended up in a dark mansion in the middle of nowhere with man who means to harm them. But Sam doesn't know how to get them out. They were trapped, then separated. Now they are alone. Will either of them get out alive? This gripping and hypnotic thriller will have you reading late into the night.
This is one of those books that I wish I had known more about before I decided to read it. I had no idea what the main storyline was so I wasn't prepared for the way it opened up my emotions and left me shocked and stunned.
The author has written an extremely powerful, intense psychological thriller which rips your heart out and bleeds you dry. This is one of those books that will stay in your thoughts long after you have read it. She has taken a rather distressing plot line and handled it with maturity and grace. She has made a taboo subject accessible and open for discussion between adults and children. After finishing the book, I actually sat my children down and talked about what I had read, reiterating the points of safety I constantly repeat to them.
The plot of this story deals with child abduction and other sensitive subjects, which are areas I struggle to read about. For me as a mother, it is just too real for my oversensitive maternal nature. I actually had to skim over certain parts as they just distressed me too much. Yet the author has been very diplomatic with her use of language, so there is only the hint of what actually happened in the house. I am so pleased that the author wasn't too graphic with the events of the weekend.
The plot is gripping and you find yourself glued to the book, as you desperately hope the boys will get out alive. Lloyd and Sam will play heavily on your heart strings. Sam was an amazing character who showed such strength of character. He was not going to give up, he was determined to escape. Not many eleven year olds would show such determination and I felt proud of him.
This is not an easy book to read but one that I feel teenagers should read. This book could save lives. Unless a child is extremely street wise, they often trust the wrong people and this book shows how easily a simple mistake can turn in a disaster.
I really do think this is a powerful book that should be read, but if you are like me, and cry when you see children fall over or get upset, or you are an over sensitive mother who wears her heart on her sleeve, then you might want to let someone else read it. However, this book was not written for over sensitive mothers, it was written for teenagers, so pass it on to one to raise awareness and discussion of a difficult yet topical subject.