A simple afternoon of babysitting turns into a battle for survival.
Hannah Steele, 13, is babysitting for only the second time, which makes her a little nervous, especially when she realizes she’s forgotten her rescue inhaler. But she’s just going to be watching Zoe and Oscar Matlock, who live next door—so what’s there to be nervous about? After all, they live on peaceful (and fictional) Pelling Island, a half hour from Seattle—a place Hannah considers utopic, where “nothing really bad ever happens.” But then a powerful earthquake strikes the Pacific Northwest. There’s no power, no phones, no internet, and no parents, leaving Hannah entirely on her own. Over three thrilling, tension-filled days, Hannah must cope with serious injuries to both Zoe and Oscar as well as little food and water. Moreover, damage to the Matlock house means it’s unsafe to stay there. There’s a close call with a bear, the stress and exhaustion give her asthma attacks, and Hannah’s not sure what to do. Earnest Hannah narrates in a credibly 13-year-old voice, her friendship woes giving her an Everykid feel even as disaster-related action keeps pages flipping. Names suggest some diversity in the community, but Hannah, Zoe, and Oscar present white.
A believable heroine finds her strength during a disaster. (Thriller. 9-13)