The alternating first-person voices, set off typographically, reveal the depth of the boys' cultural difference and their growing ability to communicate, understand, and respect one another. The harshness of the desert is clear, as is Adam's ignorance and unpreparedness. Readers who may first identify with the fun-loving Adam will come to appreciate Walid's skills and determination, and may learn something about Muslim ways in the process.
The suspense is sustained and the wildly improbably happy ending is very satisfying. Some readers may not appreciate the number of times "acting like a girl" is a derogatory phrase, but this is a solid survival adventure. First-novelist Mason makes an auspicious debut with this Australian import about two boys from disparate cultures who form a bond under harrowing circumstances.
Twelve-year-old Australian Adam, and his parents live in a housing compound for foreigners in a fictional Middle-Eastern country. When war breaks out suddenly, Adam is alone and must evacuate with neighbors. He eludes them in a desperate effort to rescue his dog.
Meanwhile, young "camel rider," or jockey, Walid is trussed and left to die in the mountains by his abusive owners. How these two find each other and connect, making their way to safety despite daunting linguistic and cultural barriers and the forbidding desert and deadly heat, makes for a fast-paced, exciting read. The boys' respective dialogue and musings are initially defined by alternately told chapters and changes in fonts. Once they meet, subsequent chapters intersperse these fonts, emphasizing their misunderstanding of each other, sometimes to comical effect.
Immediacy is achieved with first-person, present-tense narration. Though the ending is pat and some characters aren't well defined, there's more than enough here to sustain interest and to open readers' eyes to a way of life they'll hardly believe actually exists.
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Library Media Connection , starred review. How do two year-old boys survive in an Arabian desert with almost no water or food and no common language? With adventure, pluck, and lots of high-fives! Both boys are expatriates living in the fictional Arab city of Abudai. Adam is from Australia; Walid came from Bangladesh.
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Walid's mother trusts two Arabs who promise to provide schooling for him, but instead they treat him cruelly and force him to ride camels in races. My mind was blown! Why had I not heard of this website before? As I was browsing summer job opportunities in Alaska , I realized I could check out all the other states and maybe find something closer to some of my other family in Colorado. I could also go explore beautiful Colorado on my time off!
Since I am traveling with my dog, it was a little challenging finding a pet-friendly place to work, but the owners of Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch took a chance on me and my dog. When I pulled into the ranch a couple of months ago, I was greeted with huge smiles and a big hug from the owners! I knew I had found the perfect place to spend my summer! I get to meet new guests each week and have made some awesome friends with the other staff that are here working with me at the ranch this summer.
One of the chief things that makes this all possible is being welcomed into the family atmosphere the owners make sure exists. Wow, talk about symptoms and pain being their to guide you to live your passion and purpose. And I took it a step further. I went to fill out a leave of absence…this time for a year. And then I got a one-way ticket and went out to the world, gaining new mentors along the way, reading many books, meeting people from all walks of life, getting involved in diverse communities all focused on growth and contribution, and I let my soul guide me in what has been the most irrational journey ever—except that it just makes sense.
Now this is just my story of how I accepted my call to adventure. You have your own, and I want to hear about it in the comments below. Podcast: Play in new window Download.
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This call has led you to all the amazing things you are currently doing. I hope more people will accept this call because this is the most wonderful thing in the world. Walking the path of your heart and not the path of the mind. When I decided to resign from my management position last year, there were a lot of resistance.
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I might not make more money, but I never regret it a bit even when things get hard in a country with little opportunity. Thank you for sharing your story, Adam! I actually love school. And I enjoyed every bit of it. My world came crashing when I had to go on a compulsory gap year. I lost the things I held dear. The ideal life I dreamt of, the essence of my living came crashing down.
Little did I know that it would lead me to something new: freelance writing. Through it was as able to meet new people in the virtual space , learn from them and share their stories to the world.
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I only hope it will take me home: where I truly belong. The story our body is telling us needs to be given its due attention. And I especially admire how you shared your experience with the refusal of the call, because that experience is so relatable.
Adam, This was such an incredible journey to read and listen to!