Review Blog

Sep 11 2018

The survival game by Nicky Singer

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Hodder Children's Books, 2018, ISBN 9781444944525
(Ages: 12+) Mhairi is a child displaced and desperate to return home. The world is changing around her and she is caught in an exodus as the people of Africa flee north, praying for a chance at survival now Global Warming is taking its toll.
Parentless, traumatised, and alone, Mhairi knows that if she can just make it back to Scotland, to the Isle of Arran where she was born, everything will all be okay again. But the walk from Sudan is long and treacherous and she isn't sure that she will ever be free from the memories which haunt her. Regardless, Mhairi is determined to survive, even if that means abandoning a mute boy who tries to join her. But he's more persistent than she expects, and they soon become friends. Travelling alone had its benefits, particularly when it came to crossing borders but it's clear to Mhairi that the boy has no papers. He's an illegal. But he's just a boy. A mixture of compassion and guilt drives Mhairi to adopt the boy as her brother, causing even more problems than before. Will Mhairi's determination get them home? And will they be safe there when they arrive?
Singer provides a dystopian (and quite realistic) take on increasing global temperatures and explores the options humans might have in order to maintain their current lifestyles. Preservation and survival butt heads in this novel, yet it also weaves a tale of compassion and determination.
Kayla Gaskell

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