Monday, September 5, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Escaping the Giant Wave

Escaping the Giant Wave by Peg Kehret (Simon and Schuster, 2003)

What caught my eye first: The eyes, above the giant wave on the cover. Also, the title, given this year's horrendous tsunami in Japan, and the ever-present danger of tsunami on the Oregon coast. (After Turtle in Paradise, my last week's MMGM, with its hurricane, perhaps I'm in a bit of a natural disaster rut!)

The story (thanks to Goodreads copywriters): The Worst Vacation Ever! Thirteen year old Kyle thought spending a vacation on the Oregon coast with his family would be great. Kyle's perfect vacation becomes a nightmare while he's babysitting his sister, BeeBee. An earthquake hits the coast and starts a fire in their hotel. Can Kyle and BeeBee out wit and outrun nature's fury to save themselves from tsunami terror?

Wonderful things about this book: a) The disaster factor. Peg Kehret throws her characters into the most terrifying situations (an earthquake, a hotel fire, and then not one but TWO tsunami). If you want to see how to write this sort of action scene, in which the characters are faced with life-or-death situations, study how Kehret does it. She's a master.

b) Characterization. Kyle, the narrator, is dealing with bullying and, through his successful saving of himself and his sister, is able to face down the bully. His younger sister, BeeBee, is a financial wunderkind--and her characterization is done with a deft comic touch.

Verdict: This is another swift read. Both girls and boys (grades 4-6) would enjoy it--the kid reviewers on Goodreads were very complimentary. The only caveat is that it is very realistic, and might potentially frighten the more tender-hearted reader to the point of ocean aversion.

Hooray for Peg Kehret! I'll definitely seek out more of her books. You can find out more about her on her website and her blog.


  1. Sounds like an action packed story. And I love the cover. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Wow! That sounds perfect for you, Mike. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Action and a boy MC. Love it. Thanks for the review.

  4. Peg Kehret's great, but I haven't read this yet. Fantastic cover! Nice review, Michael. Thanks for telling us about this one.

    I need to learn how to write better action scenes. Clearly, I need to read more Peg Kehret!

  5. This one sounds exciting. Thanks for the review!

  6. How did I miss this one? Kehret's books are always popular. I'll have to read it.

  7. I've seen so many Peg Kehret books, but I haven't read any them. I gues I better get going! :-0


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