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10 / 30 books. 33% done!

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44 / 165 books. 27% done!
Monday, December 21, 2020

MG Survival Story Riveting and Real

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

After witnessing the shooting that killed her mom and left her dad with a hole in his leg, Nora's life has changed irrevocably.  Suffering from acute PTSD, her dad has become obsessed with safety, barely letting his only child out of his sight.  On the first anniversary of the shooting, Nora and her dad decide to spend the difficult day doing what they love best—hiking and rock climbing in their beloved Sonoran Desert.  When a flash flood sweeps in out of nowhere, however, what started out as a typical excursion soon turns into a desperate fight for survival.  Separated from her dad in the chaos, Nora is on her own to battle the desert's unrelenting heat, deadly wildlife, and barren landscape.  With little food and water, she has to find her dad and get them both to safety before it's too late.  They survived one tragedy, will either of them make it through this one?

As a Sonoran Desert dweller myself, I'm very well aware of the dangers posed by our unique climate and landscape.  Our local news is always full of warnings about excessive heat, staying hydrated, hiking alone, flash flooding, etc.  Many people have been hurt, even killed, by these dangers.  In fact, Dusti Bowling—who lives here in Arizona—wrote The Canyon's Edge partially in response to the tragic 2017 deaths of nine family members who were caught in a flash flood outside of nearby Payson.  These very real stories make Bowling's fictional one feel all the more harrowing and real.  The Canyon's Edge is a tense, exciting page-turner that's so compelling it's impossible to put down.  It's written in verse, using text art to create a story that is as visually interesting as it is engrossing.  I raced through the book in one sitting because it truly is that immersive and unputdownable.  The book teaches some invaluable lessons about outdoor survival while also examining intriguing themes like grief, resilience, the struggle to move on after tragedy, and rebirth.  It's an impactful novel that should appeal to even reluctant readers.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other survival novels like Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis, When We Were Lost by Kevin Wignall, etc.)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. I do love a good survival story! :)

  2. Sounds like a great MG book. I like the sounds of this one.

  3. As I read the description, I thought about how an Arizona author would know all about the flash floods. I'll be this adds to the realistic feeling of this novel.

  4. This sounds like both an interesting and a powerful story about survival among other things.


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