RED SEA by Diane Tullson


Age Range: 14 & up
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An angry teenager outgrows the pleasures of torturing her mother and stepfather after Red Sea pirates murder the one, severely injure the other and leave her adrift on a small, thoroughly looted boat. Unwilling participant in a year-long family sailing adventure that comes to a sudden, brutally explicit end, Libby finds herself in a desperate struggle—the physical challenges of surviving on the open sea and keeping her seriously wounded mother alive intensified by her own haunting fears and traumatic memories. The author draws on personal experiences sailing small craft for long distances to create an authentic-seeming nautical setting, and though a bit slow off the mark, Libby’s first-person, present-tense narrative picks up plenty of speed and force as she weathers days of storm and terror, despair and isolation. Libby starts out a waspish, decidedly unsympathetic character, but comes out of her ordeal with an admirable measure of hard-won self-respect. Fans of Gary Paulsen’s Voyage of the Frog (1989) and similar survival adventures will be riveted. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-55143-331-1
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Orca
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2005