by Nancy Farmer. Orchard Books, 1994. It's the year 2194 in Zimbabwe. The three children of General Matsika, one of the most powerful men in Africa, were kept safe and secure within a lavish mansion. They were pampered and served and tutored in every way. What they really wanted was an adventure in the outside world. It goes something like this: out of the goldfish bowl, into the stew pot. Out of the stew pot, into the frying pan. Out of the frying pan, into the fire. Out of the fire, into....?
This was a very enjoyable read. Children 9 and up who like fantasy, adventure, and Utopian alternate worlds will love this. I found it interesting, exciting and satisfying. There are a couple of spots where it seemed a bit unbelievable but the story moved so fast that wasn't a big bother. I was really moved by the justice issues where wealth confronted poverty. It seemed a bit too close to our present day world in some respects. I like being challenged in that way and I think young adults will as well.
I read this as my first book in Mother Reader's 48 hour challenge. I had actually started it a few days before, so I am only counting 275 pages of the book's 311 pages in my tally. I started reading at 11 am on Friday morning and read a total of 5 hours on Friday. I can't really put everything aside and literally do nothing but read, of course, so I just did what I could. It puts me out of the running for any prizes, but I don't really care about that. I am just so thrilled and satisfied to be doing it at all. In the past five years, since I became the mother of three boys, I haven't read this much in one weekend. It is refreshing and I am really happy I did it!