Blood Mountain

James Preller. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-250-17485-7
Set over six days, this harrowing survival story follows two siblings as they struggle to stay alive in the wilderness. Responsible and level-headed, 13-year-old Grace Taylor is easily frustrated by her 11-year-old brother, Carter, who is impulsive and headstrong. When the two set off on a day hike up Blood Mountain with their father and their dog, they grow impatient with their dad’s slow pace and set off on their own, but they quickly lose their way in the rugged landscape. After Grace survives a dramatic fall, which leaves her immobile, Carter is determined to prove that he is capable of saving them both. What neither of them knows is that a man who seems to have PTSD and has been living off the grid is tracking them. Chock-full of suspense and real-life danger, the story moves quickly, despite a somewhat intrusive narrative voice that delves into lengthy ruminations from each character. The siblings’ grit and resilience is compelling, though, and Preller (the Jigsaw Jones series) deftly maintains the question of their survival. Younger readers may find some scenes graphic (about a squirrel, “he cracks the soft breastplate, slices up to the head”), but fans of Gary Paulsen’s books will likely be hooked from page one. Ages 9–12. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 10/24/2019
Release date: 10/01/2019
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-250-61981-5
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