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14 December 2014

The Raft

The Raft by SA Bodeen is a survival story in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Robie lives on Midway Atoll, a 2.4 square mile island northwest of Hawaii. When she gets stir crazy on the small island mostly filled with researchers, she visits her aunt in Hawaii.

After staying with her aunt for a few days, her aunt has to fly to the mainland for work. Robie, at sixteen, is too young to stay on her own in the city. A friend of her aunt promises to check on her each day, but on her first night alone Robie walks to get food after dark and is attacked by a crazy man. After she escapes she decides to fly home.

Residents of Midway can catch a ride on any of the supply planes with no ticket or reservation. As long as there is room (or something can be taken off for the next flight to keep under the weight limit) they can fly home. Robie show up at the small airport about an hour before the flight is to leave. At the last minute she is put on the plane and they take off - a few hours behind schedule. Neither her aunt or her parents know she is going home.

A couple of hours into the flight they hit a storm. After a while of turbulence, one engine dies. Max, the copilot, tells Robie to put on a life vest and get ready to open a life raft once she is outside of the plane. Then he throws her out the door.

Max and Robie make it into the life raft but have no way to know where they are, no way to steer even if they knew which way to go, no fresh water, and one bag of Skittles for food.

Bodeen has written a harrowing tale of survival against the odds. Readers will enjoy the story while being glad they are not in Robie's shoes.

Bodeen, S.A. (2012). The Raft. New York: Feiwel and Friends.

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