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DESPERATE MEASURES by Laura Summers

DESPERATE MEASURES

By Laura Summers

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: May 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-399-25616-5
Publisher: Putnam

Three parentless children strike out on their own in order to stay together. Thirteen-year-old Rhianna Davies and her twin are very different; Rhianna is taller, likes to swim and attends special classes at school. Vicky likes class hunk Matt, is 47 minutes older and is (according to Rhianna) quite bossy. The girls and their 10-year-old troublemaker brother Jamie have been in foster care since their mother died of cancer two years previously and their father went away to help refugees (according to Vicky). When their current foster mother has to go to hospital, well-meaning Mrs. Frankish, their social worker, determines to split them up in order to replace them. They decide to make a run for Great Auntie Irene’s house in the country instead. The trip is difficult, especially once the authorities start looking for them, and the surprise at its end is not pleasant. They may have reached their planned destination, but their quest for a home is far from over. British author Summers’ debut was well-received in her native land and is likely to be here as well. Vicky and Rhianna narrate alternating chapters, and both have realistic and distinctive voices. Their page-turning trek across the countryside sags a bit at the end, but readers will most definitely hang on to find out what happens in the credible and happy ending. (Fiction. 9-12)