Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 14 and up
# of Pages: 228 p.
RAC Book: Yes
Jared Finch and his family have agreed to take in a refugee family from Africa that their church is sponsoring. Jared is less than thrilled with the idea of sharing his room, his house, and his school with total strangers. The arrangement was made at the last minute when the planned apartment fell through. When the family arrives they seem distracted and afraid of everything as if something is chasing them. Jared also starts to notice that they do not act as a family. They hardly speak to each other and no one seems that concerned that the young daughter, Alake, has yet to speak or show any emotion about anything. Despite all of his misgivings, Jared begins to feel compassion and love for this family as his family helps them adjust to life in America. His concerns are not unfounded, however, and a dark secret is about to expose them all to terrible danger.
This book discusses what life is like in Africa including child armies, cruel treatment, and blood diamonds. The Finches, like many American families, are oblivious to the fact that people have to live in conditions like this. They are surprised that this African family has never seen a grocery store before and therefore cannot even fathom losing family members to preventable diseases and being forced to do things they would never do otherwise simply because a gun is pointed at their heads. This story discusses real issues that are going on in the world and would be a great read for any person. In addition to being informative, it is compelling and interesting all the way through. Highly recommended.