“Lost Girls” Ann Kelley

ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) published July 10, 2012. Little Brown & Company (Hatchett Book Group.) 319 pp. (Originally published in English as Koh Tabu in 2010).

Thailand. Middle of Vietnam War. 1974.

Fourteen-year-old Bonnie likes facts. She wants to know the “why” of things, and enjoys figuring out the best way to approach problems. She and her friends are expecting to have a wonderful time camping for 3 days on one of Thailand’s islands. Unfortunately, from the very beginning, everything goes wrong. Bad weather causes the boatman to miss the island on which they’d originally planned to land and blew them into the Forbidden Island’s shores. The natives are superstitious about the island and the boatman is terrified enough to practically throw them off the boat and leave.

Misfortune soon follows with the death of several of the girls, the discovery of the boatman’s body, near starvation, wild animal attacks and more as the survivors desperately struggle to stay alive and find a way off the island. Bonnie writes the pain she feels through daily diary entries as their lives hang more and more in the balance. Days turn into weeks with no hope of rescue…

“Lost Girls” is a novel of determination and survival, and will appeal to all high school readers.

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