Publisher's Note:  

"I don't realize I'm crying until he glances at me. For a moment, I see the look of anguish in his eyes, then he blinks it away and slips off into the water. I immediately think of the gator. It's still down there somewhere..." A science-class field trip to the Everglades is supposed to be fun, but Sarah's new at Glades Academy, and her fellow freshmen aren't exactly making her feel welcome. When an opportunity for an unauthorized side trip on an airboat presents itself, it seems like a perfect escape–an afternoon without feeling like a sore thumb. But one simple oversight turns a joyride into a race for survival across the river of grass. Sarah will have to count on her instincts—and a guy she barely knows—if they have any hope of making it back alive. Lost in the River of Grass takes on the classic survival genre using one of the country's most unique wild places as a backdrop. In this tense, character-driven thriller, Sarah must overcome prejudice and the unforgiving wilderness in a struggle to survive.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Lerner Publishing Group

Lost in the River of Grass

by Ginny Rorby

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Overall Review:  

 Lost in the River of Grass brings a new meaning to the word ‘field trip’.  How many of us haven’t imagined that we’re lost in some backwoods-y place somewhere and left to survive?  We would probably rub some sticks together and out would jump a spark so that within minutes our fire is roaring.  Then we’d roast the rabbit that we had speared earlier with the stick that we found on the ground.  That is, of course, the dream.  This book delivers the reality. 


The grittiness of the situation makes it totally believable.  Their circumstances are stark and scary: no food; water everywhere, but none of it drinkable; no way to start a fire; no one knows where they are, or even that they’re together; more than half of the animals in residence think they’re either a tasty dinner, or a threat to be dealt with.  The descriptions of the park are beautiful and stunning.  The development of the characters is fabulous.  In the beginning, the fear from Sarah is palpable, while Andy treats it like it’s just another day in paradise.  The roles begin to reverse as time goes on. Sarah’s fear begins to wear off and she can see the beauty in the park, and Andy realizes he’s only human after all.  Lost in the River of Grass is a great survival story full of all the scary animals you could ask for. Weirdly enough, it will make you want to visit the Everglades and see if you can see a python eat an alligator in real life. 

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language: 21 Religious exclamations; 9 mild obscenities; 4 scatological words; 2 anatomical terms.


Violence/Gore: Many non-life threatening injuries (many mention a little blood from cuts and scratches), such as falling on rocks, being cut by saw grass, and other injuries sustained from travels through harsh land. Several frightening scenes involved characters being attacked by or watching attacks of gators, wild boars, red ants, water moccasins, pygmy rattlesnakes, coral snakes, pythons, and even roaches.  Four of these scenes were extended and included passing through a gator's nest with new babies (4 pages); a water moccasin wraps itself around a characters' ankle (4 pages); a python attacks a gator (4 pages); a description of the first night in the Everglades lasts for many pages and includes a character being covered in red ants.  A character peels much of the skin off of their feet after traveling through swamps for many days.


Sex/Nudity: A character tries to kiss another; two characters kiss (2 times); two characters hold hands and hug; a character talks about the fact that she has not started her period and this is why she has no breasts.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Bullying; Man vs Nature (Many scary animals and frightening moments)

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

A character's mother and uncle are drug addicts (the uncle is imprisoned for dealing drugs); there is a short discussion about smoking weed between two characters.

Reviewed By Emily
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