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TORCHED by April Henry


by April Henry

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: March 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-399-24645-6
Publisher: Putnam

Sixteen-year-old Ellie is caught between two evils in this eco-terrorism thriller. When Ellie’s aging hippie parents are arrested for drug dealing, the FBI offers a deal: If Ellie will infiltrate the environmental activist group Mother Earth Defenders, her parents will stay out of jail. Ellie can’t bear to betray a group whose goals are so laudable—after all, who doesn’t want to protect old-growth forests and the habitat of the endangered lynx?—but she’ll do anything to keep her frail, innocent pothead dad out of prison. MED’s members aren’t so morally pure as Ellie would hope, however. Sure, gorgeous, blond-ringleted Coyote is a good guy, but creepy-looking Hawk advocates violence. Early attempts at exploring the moral complexities of extreme environmental activism get left by the wayside as Ellie’s tale concentrates on romance and big explosions, but the thrills and action will keep readers interested as she navigates her way between terrorists and self-centered Feds. (Thriller. 12-14)