The Getaway

­Scholastic. Sept. 2022. 400p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781338752014.
Gr 9 Up–As the world outside is plagued with severe climate change, poverty, and racism, Black teen Jay feels lucky his family was chosen to live in Karloff Country. Inside the Karloff walls is a renowned destination resort with theme parks, upscale hotels, restaurants, and shops. Helpers keep the resort running, so Jay splits his time with going to school, working at a theme park, and hanging with his crew: fellow Black teens Zeke and Connie, and Chelle, who, much to her grandfather’s dismay, is the biracial heir to the Karloff empire. But soon the troubles of the outside world start to seep into Karloff; Connie disappears overnight, and residents are suddenly placed under lockdown as coordinated attacks occur worldwide. Jay is still grateful to be living in a safe zone—until the typical resort crowds disappear and the Trustees arrive with new demands. Karloff Country marketing campaigns interspersed within the text lead to initial connections between Karloff and the promised magic of Disneyworld. But the advertisements extolling a commitment to safety and equality quickly begin to underscore the glaring difference in Karloff’s marketing and intended purpose. The Trustees have complete power over the Helpers, each described as a person of color, and their brutality ranges from the zap of electricity to a modern-day lynching, rapidly shifting ideas of Disneyworld to those of slavery. Nonstop action, increasingly dangerous risks, and themes of racism and classism will keep readers engaged and flying through this one—and rethinking that planned resort vacation.
VERDICT A must for readers who want an entirely unique take on the apocalypse.

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