Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Authors: Kari Kinnard Pratt and Kent Johnson Olsen
Publisher: Outskirts Press
“Just think about it. You could learn hundreds of new things everyday just from being observant, listening and thinking …” Nathan’s dad encourages his two children in Kari Kinnard Pratt and Kent Johnson Olsen’s book, The Compass Cactus.
At seventy-three pages, this paperback book is the first in the Sarah’s Summer Adventure series and is targeted toward middle to high school aged children. With typographical and punctuation errors, there is no profanity, overt sex scenes or extreme violence. The action adventure story would be appreciated by Boy Scouts, Eagle Scouts, and those interested in overnight survival in the desert.
Although Sarah, a freshman in high school, and her older brother, Nathan, are taking the same sophomore science class, they care, help, and protect one another. Barely missing the mark to be included in the class field trip, Nathan is the first to answer Teacher Turner’s bonus riddle about the Barrel Cactus so is the ninth person along with Sarah to go to the Ghost Creek Camp the next day.
Taking the school bus, the children and teacher are excited to get a day off from school but matters take a turn for the worse when the bus breaks down and a flash flood occurs in the ravine. Frantically, the children disembark to escape the rushing muddy waters, loosing track of the injured teacher and three other students’ whereabouts for a while as the vehicle overturns and washes away.
Huddling in a cave to get out of the downpour, both Nathan and Sarah use their survival skills to not only keep the group safe, they protect them from javelinas, the rising waters, and the elements.
With the aid of the Barrel Cactus, Nathan, Sarah and the others learn survival techniques as they band together. The two bratty boys, Bud and Roger, try as they can to disrupt and torment the gang but learn a lesson about life too. With some injured and some insecure, the group plans out a route to return to civilization.
Simplistically written and obviously unedited, the first teen book in the series teaches how to work together as a team, take emergency supplies whenever away from home and become creative when it comes to survival in the middle of nowhere.
This book was furnished through Bostick Communications in lieu of an unbiased review.