"Be careful. Your next step may be your last."
Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodbridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Wilson challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya reluctantly follows. They soon get lost, and they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined.
In the days and weeks that follow, the authorities and the U.S. Senate become involved, and what they uncover might affect the future of the world.
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Let me start this review with a bookworm confession! I have obviously heard of Louis Sachar and have had my eyes on his books for quite some time and this is the first chance I have had to read his work. Huge thanks to Bloomsbury India for sending me a copy of this book.
Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have a unique relationship. They have been walking to and from school together since they were in elementary school. However, no one knows that they are friends as they never speak to each other in school. Being friends with a fifth grader would be a ‘social’ suicide for Marshall especially if Chad, the bully, ever found out. One day Chad decides to follow and catch up with Marshall on the way home and in order to avoid him, Marshal takes Tamaya through the woods. But Chad catches up with them and what happened next leads to an adventure of a lifetime.
This book is supposed to be Middle-Grade Children’s’ book and yet being in my 30s, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I am pretty sure that the author’s narrative style and language is well known for being exemplary and needs no testimonials from me. So, I will move on to the characterization. I absolutely loved the way the author has introduced and built up each and every character in the book – especially the three central characters of Tamaya, Marshall and Chad. The plot is simply awesome (especially if you see this boo as children’s book) that brings social and environmental issues together with mystery/thriller element.
The cover and book presentation only makes the book more attractive. Even though green (any shade) is a colour that I do not like at all, I can see how the bright colours and the ‘warning’ tag could be attractive to kids. Even the boo formatting as small things to offer to make the book look more inviting than a simple layout.
Review Copy received from Bloomsbury India