Seven kids are in for an explosive summer adventure that might be their last.
Armed with her new video camera, Brianna, a 13-year-old white girl, sets off for a summer of research with a world-famous geologist in Yellowstone National Park. Scientists selected Bri and three other contest winners because of their projects on seismic and volcanic activity, but Bri never could have imagined they were chosen to save the world from a supervolcano eruption. Their situation goes from dangerous to dire when Bri and her new friends discover that the scientists they trusted have more sinister plans in mind. Plot twist after plot twist keeps the story moving at a fast pace until the end. In one, Raquel Soto and Eddie Fuentes, two Latinx kids they meet along the way, reveal they never entered any contest: The scientists kidnapped them from their home in Inglewood, California, because “it wouldn’t draw attention” since they’re “not exactly a couple of rich white kids from Picket-Fence-Ville.” Whenever Raquel and Eddie speak in Spanish, the text is italicized. Filipino-American Wyatt also experiences discrimination because of his prosthetic leg, which becomes a point of tension among the kids. Biracial (black/white) Nolan and white Kenzie and Todd round out the cast. Despite Slivensky’s treatment of identity as a source of conflict, environmental activism remains the dominant theme throughout the book.
Overall, an engaging adventure with a high-stakes plot and a timely message about preserving the environment. (author’s note, glossary) (Adventure. 8-12)