Thursday, April 4, 2013

Book Review: Nine Days, by Fred Hiatt

While the premise of Nine Days sounds like it will involve political intrigue and the plight of political prisoners in China, in actuality it's a story about two teens on a nine-day adventure through a foreign land.

Ti-Anna's family moved to the United States when she was very young because her father was forced to leave China. He is still fighting for a democracy in China, even while in the U.S. Ti-Anna becomes friends with Ethan when she discovers he knows a lot about Chinese history. They form a close friendship, and when Ti-Anna reveals that her father returned to China and they haven't heard from him for weeks, Ethan decides they should go to China to find Ti-Anna's father.

I enjoyed the characterizations. It is easy to feel sympathy for Ti-Anna. Josh's obsession with food adds some comic relief. Their moods are accurately reflected as they face many hardships. I did feel that the trail they followed appeared a little to easily. The action and danger doesn't really begin until over halfway through the book. However, the writing is clear and easily understood. The plot flows logically and the book reads rather quickly.

Nine Days is fiction, but there really is a Ti-Anna, and her father is currently being held in a Chinese prison for political activism. There is a nice explanation of the true situation at the end of Nine Days.  The book itself however, doesn't really give much information about the politics or plight of these political dissidents. I just never felt the indignation about this situation that I had hoped Nine Days would evoke.

I will recommend Nine Days to teens who are interested in adventures, especially about teens in a foreign land.

Published by Delacorte, April 9, 2013
ARC obtained from Library Media Connection Magazine, for review
230 pages

Rating: 3/5

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  1. Do you think this would be a good read for middle grades? I'd love to add more real-life adventure stories in my collection, but my patrons are mostly in middle school.

  2. I just finished it and really liked it. I can't figure out what Ethan meant by turning down the second helping of lunch in their last meeting. Help? Nice blog here - look forward to browsing here!


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