Out of Range (Hardcover)
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If you are addicted to devices, what camp would be the worst? Camp Unplugged. No phones. No internet. No connection to the outside world. Send three sisters who are at war with each other. No training. No supplies. No food. Now what?— Ashby
Sisters Abby, Emma, and Ollie have gone from being best friends forever to mortal enemies.
Thanks to their months-long feud, they are sent to Camp Unplugged, a girls’ camp deep in the heart of the Idaho mountains where they will go “back to nature”—which means no cell phones, no internet, and no communicating with the outside world. For two whole weeks. During that time, they had better learn to get along again, their parents tell them. Or else.
The sisters don’t see any way they can ever forgive each other for what they’ve done, no matter how many hikes and campfire songs they’re forced to participate in. But then disaster strikes, and they find themselves lost and alone in the wilderness. They will have to outrun a raging wildfire, make it through a turbulent river, escape bears and mountain lions and ticks. They don’t have training, or food, or enough supplies. All they have is each other.
And maybe, just maybe, it will be enough to survive.
The story opens with 14-year-old Abby, 12-year-old Emma, and 9-year-old Ollie on a disciplinary hike with their camp counselor. When the counselor leaves them to scout the trail, Abby decides to return to camp with Emma and Ollie reluctantly following. Soon lost, the presumably White sisters flee from a forest fire down to a river, where Emma falls in and is swept away and Ollie vanishes trying to follow her, leaving Abby on her own. In the ensuring hours, Emma nearly drowns, Ollie injures her ankle, and Abby encounters a bear. Their harrowing, sparring, lost-in-the-woods present-day drama alternates with critical backstory from each sister’s perspective. A recent family relocation from California to Utah has left Abby friendless; after joining the cross country team, she abandons Emma. Equally displaced, Emma’s hurt Abby has ditched her, while Ollie pretends to not mind moving but resents being ignored by both her sisters. Their feelings culminate in a series of cruel, humiliating pranks against one another. The artful movement of plot between past and present gradually reveals why they have been sent to camp together. In this story that blends nail-biting adventure with a relationship story, siblings learn through being physically lost and forced to face life-threatening danger that they can discover who they are and what really matters.
A realistic, riveting survival story. (author's note) (Fiction. 9-12)
— Kirkus Reviews