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Book - 2017 | First edition.
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In this riveting middle-grade adventure, the son of a Mississippi policeman finds a boy living on his own in the wilderness. Twelve-year-old Sam has been given a fishing boat by his father, but he hates fishing. Instead he uses the boat to disappear for hours at a time, exploring the forbidden swampy surroundings of his bayou home. Then he discovers a strange kid named Davey, mysteriously alone, repairing an abandoned cabin deep in the woods. Not fooled by the boy's evasive explanation as to why he's on his own, Sam becomes entangled in his own efforts to help Davey. But this leads him to telling small lies that only get bigger as the danger increases for both boys and hidden truths become harder to conceal.

This title has Common Core connections.

Publisher: New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374304829
Branch Call Number: J FIC Key
Characteristics: 311 pages ; 22 cm

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CRRLKids Oct 31, 2018

A great read for preteen boys looking for adventure and suspense. Sam, a young boy with a boat, discovers another boy, Davey, living in the swamp waiting for his father and brother to come to the rescue. Key does a great job building a believable relationship between these two friends; Davey turns out to be a bit too naive for his own good, but Sam steps in to help out his new friend at first without getting his grown-ups involved.

ArapahoeAnnaL Oct 05, 2018

Reading this story of survival in the Mississippi bayou country, friendship, glorious summertime adventures fishing, swimming, cooking over a fire, and sleeping outside, outwitting drug dealers, and rescuing an orphan brought back the fabulous experience books provided in my young years! I love the main character's determination to develop courage!

ArapahoeStaff1 Mar 27, 2017

Who wouldn't love driving through the bayou in your own boat?! Mix that up with a mystery, a new friend, and a cop father, and you have a recipe for a great middle grade thriller. Sam is an incredibly irritating kid in the fact that he threw away his friend for being too nerdy, but this story IS about hid redemption, doing the right thing, and growing up. Watt Key is a phenomenal author, and his work for middle grade is highly appropriate. This thriller and story of friendship is sure to leave you satisfied.

This novel begins with a middle-school boy named Sam. His dad, the chief of police, has given him a boat for his thirteenth birthday. His dad hopes that he will find a new interest in fishing, but Sam has other ideas… The Fight is all Same can think about. After getting beaten up in front of the entire school, Sam’s friendship with Grover -- the Xbox fanatic Sam met when he moved to his new house -- wavers. To take his mind off his problems, he takes his new boat, the Bream Catcher, for a spin down the swampy waters. But when he finds a boy abandoned in the wilderness, Same gets involved in something much, much bigger.

I enjoyed how the author made the plot very interesting. It was difficult to tell what would happen next, which kept me on the edge of my seat. I did not like ow abruptly the book ended because I would have like to have read more about Sam’s friend and his new life.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to middle/high school kids who are looking for a book of mystery, drama, and adventure.
Reviewed by Emma

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