Reading Level: Ages 10+
Reviewed by Kathy Davis
When September and Ivan Craneâs father leaves for a 2 week commercial fishing job, he reluctantly allows the kids (ages 13 and 12) to stay alone in their remote Alaskan cabin. After arranging for a friend to check up on them, he gives two firm rules: donât hot-wire the video game into their radioâs power source, and donât use the boat to go to town. They quickly break both rules and lie to cover it up. The implications of their behavior turn life threatening when they attempt to cross the bay during a williwaw, a severe storm like the one that claimed their motherâs life years ago.
Most of the book focuses on the childrenâs day-to-day handling of their predicament, but at the very end the author does give readers a thrilling account of the williwaw. The writing is descriptive (though some passages were overdone and lengthy) and it was easy to get caught up in the story. Williwaw! shows how disobedience escalated into catastrophe for 2 normally responsible, hard working home-schooled kids. Young readers will get the message â donât lie. Expect this book to generate some discussions for your family as it did for ours.
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