Sunday, July 9, 2017


Every few years I have a student who is obsessed with outdoor adventure novels. Once they breeze through all of Gary Paulsen's work and the Stormrunners series, I often struggle for good recommendations. This is an area of improvement for me, so I am happy to add Elizabeth Fama's Overboard to the list of titles I can share.

Feeling homesick and frustrated with the expat life that feels thrust upon her, Emily decides to hop on a ferry in Sumatra and escape for a little while. Unfortunately, the ferry sinks and Emily must fight for her life against whirlpools, exhaustion, sharks, and other survivors.

In addition to the exciting survival story, there are many cultural tidbits about life in Indonesia. It doesn't feel didactic, but the reader walks away with a broadened worldview. I wish that the ending was fleshed out a bit more, but overall, I thought it was a solid and quick read. Two of my students (not typical adventure readers) had been pressing this book on me all year. It's appeal goes beyond its genre and I look forward to book talking it to everyone next year.

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