Radley's parents had warned her that all hell would break loose if the American People's Party took power. And now, with the president assassinated and the government cracking down on citizens, the news is filled with images of vigilante groups, frenzied looting, and police raids.Read more...
Radley's parents had warned her that all hell would break loose if the American People's Party took power. And now, with the president assassinated and the government cracking down on citizens, the news is filled with images of vigilante groups, frenzied looting, and police raids. It seems as if all hell "has" broken loose.
Coming back from volunteering abroad, Radley just wants to get home to Vermont, and the comfort and safety of her parents. Travel restrictions and delays are worse than ever, and by the time Radley's plane lands in New Hampshire, she's been traveling for over twenty-four hours. Exhausted, she heads outside to find her parents who always come, day or night, no matter when or where she lands aren't there.
Her cell phone is dead, her credit cards are worthless, and she doesn't have the proper travel papers to cross state lines. Out of money and options, Radley starts walking. . . .
Illustrated with 50 of her own haunting and beautiful photographs, this is a vision of a future America that only Karen Hesse could write: real, gripping, and deeply personal."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-06
- Reviewer: Staff
Hesse (Brooklyn Bridge) beautifully captures the changing landscape of a journey, the wonder of discovery, and a fight to survive in a near-future novel set in the aftermath of a presidential assassination. A group of rebels called the American People’s Party has taken control, and prisons are overcrowded with those they’ve arrested. Radley, an American teenager returning home from doing volunteer work in Haiti, finds her parents gone and her Vermont home abandoned. Not knowing whom to trust or where she’ll be safe, she sets out on foot to Canada, befriending a reticent girl along the way. The two form a tentative friendship and manage to cross into Canada, where they begin a new, primitive life, relying on their wits and small acts of kindness from strangers. The first-person narrative (reflected a shade too obtrusively in Hesse’s 50 b&w photographs) intimately depicts Radley’s loneliness, her longing to regain what she’s taken for granted, and her delight in rediscovering simple pleasures, like eating a hot meal. Hesse’s story is a reminder of how compassion emerges during even the worst of times. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)
Surviving when order is lost
Newbery Medal-winning author Karen Hesse is known for tales of characters finding rays of hope in situations of despair. In Safekeeping, Hesse envisions a future United States torn apart by civil war. Teenage Radley, returning to Vermont after volunteering at an orphanage in Haiti, looks forward to her parents meeting her at the airport. But her parents are missing—and her credit card and cell phone are useless. Strangers are wary, daylight curfews are violently enforced and the police may be chasing her. Hoping her parents have sought sanctuary in Canada, Radley heads north.
Along the way, Radley cautiously befriends the secretive Celia and her loyal dog, Jerry Lee. As the three travelers seek safety, shelter and food, they also struggle with defining their new identities, accepting their past regrets and learning to live in a world where the rules have suddenly and irrevocably changed.
Fifty of Hesse’s original black-and-white photographs accompany the narration. The photographs, which include panoramic views of landscapes, ghostly images of abandoned buildings and close-up shots of ordinary objects, enhance the story. Sometimes they directly illustrate Radley’s world; other times they set the tone or invite further reflection on a theme.
Readers looking for an introspective view of a post-apocalyptic world, or who enjoyed the use of photographs in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, won’t want to miss this latest example of an emerging form of young adult literature.