Searching for Sky

336p. Bloomsbury. May 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781619633513; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781619633520.
Gr 8 Up—"Sky" and "River" have grown up together on a deserted island where they live with Sky's mother and River's father. Now both of the parents are dead, and while Sky is quite content with their life, River wants to be rescued and returned to civilization. A ship does come, and the two are taken to California to be reunited with their families. River goes willingly, but Sky tries to escape and seriously injures herself. Because no one in his family wants him, River must find a job and fend for himself. Sky, who has to go by her "real" name Megan, is sent to live with her grandmother. The adjustment is difficult since she has never experienced modern conveniences. When she reunites with River, despite her grandmother trying to keep them apart, she finds out the truth about their families. The early parts of the novel echo moments from The Blue Lagoon film. After Sky's return to civilization, her thoughts and actions are at times unbelievable and inconsistent—so wise in some ways and so out of touch in others. Her simplistic practice of naming things doesn't ring true, especially since she was three years old when she left her original home and would have been speaking in sentences and both parents and River, having spent more time in the "real" world, would know more than basic nouns. Despite its flaws, the book sustains interest and should appeal to teens. The blend of mystery, romance, family story, and paradise versus civilization makes for a quick and compelling read for those who don't question details too closely.—Janet Hilbun, University of North Texas
Sky and a boy named River live alone on Island. When they are "rescued" by a boat and taken to live in California, Sky must relearn everything she thought she knew. The unique point of view and hints of mystery keep pages turning quickly, but the true emotional resonance lies in Sky's relationships with River, her new-found grandmother, and her own strange past.

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