CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 40. . . .June 15, 2018
Hide and Shriek. (Orca Soundings).
Victoria, BC: Orca, August, 2018.
125 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1873-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1874-3 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1875-0 (epub).
Grades 6-9 / Ages 11-14.
Review by Mary Harelkin Bishop.
Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.
This was not a path. Clearly not. The ground was uneven. It was thick with spindly trees and prickly bushes that snagged at our pants. But it didn’t matter. We charged through, Dylan dragging me and me dragging the others. We crashed through the forest as quietly as four people can crash through a forest.
It was exactly like a nightmare. There’s a specific kind of terror in being chased through a spooky forest at night. You can hear your own breathing and feel your heart pounding. You never seem to be running fast enough. You can’t see properly. You don’t know where you are or how you’ll get away. You have no time to plan. Like a nightmare, all we knew was that the people chasing us were Bad Guys.
But there was no waking up from this particular nightmare.
Emily and her friends, Tess, Cam and Dylan, love playing hide and seek late on Friday nights. It has become a tradition with them. Then, because of rising crime rates in the area, the town council and police decide to put a curfew in place as protection for kids. The curfew is meant to keep teens, just like them, safe from danger and devious characters. The four teen friends decide to ignore the curfew, and the next Friday night finds them playing hide and seek in the dark, as usual.
However, this Friday night is different. The friends end up down near the river, a place where they don’t usually go. Only Dylan is familiar with the riverbank and area. Sitting beneath an overhang along a steep bank, they hear voices drifting over the water from the other side of the river. It is easy to figure out that the voices are men’s voices and the men are up to no good. Some kind of shady deal is taking place, and the four friends freeze, not wanting to be heard.
Inadvertently, the teens make noise and are discovered, and the men begin to pursue them. The game of hide and seek suddenly becomes deadly as the quartet frantically try to hide from the men who seem to want them dead – or at least silenced.
Written in the first person, Hide and Shriek is part of the “Orca Soundings” series, high-interest books with grade level language that is easy for readers to master. The novel has intense drama which will draw readers further into the story. The author does an amazing job of capturing readers’ interest and keeping readers wondering what will happen next. The plot is full of twists and turns and wonderful action as the teens hide and are discovered several times. They manage to get away, most of the time. There are threats and gruff, malicious voices but no graphic violence. I expected there to be physical harm or one of the teens ending up mortally wounded. The author’s ability to maintain suspense and the feeling of impending vengeance will also engage young readers. The dialogue is short and snappy, and the narrative is told authentically from an adolescent’s perspective, using teen vernacular. Most readers will relate well to this story.
I read Hide and Shriek in one sitting. The plot left me hanging on the edge of my seat, needing to find out what would happen next. Hide and Shriek is a page-turner!
Mary Harelkin Bishop is the author of the “Tunnels of Moose Jaw Adventure” series. Her two latest books are Mistasinîy: Buffalo Rubbing Stone and Skye Bird and the Eagle Feather.
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