Review: Escape Under the Forever Sky

Posted on July 28, 2009


Escape Under the Forever Sky
By Eve Yohalem
Chronicle Books
April 2009
224 pages

Lucy Hoffman is the 13-year old daughter of the US Ambassador to Ethiopia. By all appearances she lives a charmed life in the middle of one of the poorest countries in Africa. A driver escorts her from the gated compound to private school. She rides in motorcades to official dinners where she dines with various world leaders. Servants attend to all her needs. She wants for nothing – except her freedom.

After six months, all Lucy knows of the culture and geography she has learned from reading books and talking to her driver, Iskinder. Like the wild animals she visits on her trips to the National Park with Ranger Dahnie, she yearns to explore rural Africa. She eventually gets her wish but not at all the way she imagined.

Lucy and her mother, the Ambassador, are embroiled in a serious disagreement over the touchy subject of her freedom. She has been grounded for going to the outdoor market in Addis Ababa with her school friends. She is furious at her mother. When she’s finally allowed to go to her friend, Tana’s house for a short visit, they sneak off to hear a local band at a restaurant. There she is kidnapped and the real story begins.

Lucy is held in a small hut in the country. Her kidnappers, a British woman and 2 African men, are so disorganized and one of the men is so violent she is certain they will kill her. Even though she is keenly aware that certain death might also await her in the dangerous wilderness, she believes her only option is to escape. What follows is the most challenging adventure of a lifetime.

Escape Under the Forever Sky is a suspenseful and spell-binding tale of Lucy’s bravery and resourcefulness as she draws on everything she has learned about this mysterious land to guide her incredible journey. Yohalem’s abundant research shines through with vivid details. From the colorful, bustling marketplace in Addis Ababa to the hidden dangers and natural beauty of the Ethiopian wilderness, young readers will feel like they are right there with Lucy through all her exploits. This is an intriguing summer safari for all ages.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Peggy Tibbetts

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