Front Country – book review

Front Country
by Sara St. Antoine
Realistic Fiction
* * * * Stars (Great!)

Ginny Shepard’s world comes squealing to a halt when her science teacher starts a unit on climate change. Unlike her classmates, Ginny can’t seem to stop thinking about all the animals going extinct and the planet dying. Her friends and family don’t understand why it’s hard for her to care about anything else. When Ginny starts ignoring her grades in favor of activism, and quits tennis, her folks give her an ultimatum – attend “TrackFinders” camp, or else. Ginny is actually super excited about spending weeks in the mountains of Montana – in nature! But she soon discovers that TrackFinders is for kids who have lost their way, and it’s going to be weeks in the mountains with a bunch of boys who don’t want to be there. The food isn’t exciting, the company is less than stellar, the group therapy is kind of a joke, and the backpacking is a challenge, but Ginny does love the scenery and is over the moon when she’s able to observe her favorite animals – pikas (related to rabbits, and super cute) – in their natural habitat. Just as the group is starting to gel, one of the boys – Maddox – steals the guides’ gear and runs away, leaving them in a sticky situation. They’re forced to evacuate and the whole trip nearly unravels. But an unplanned stay with a research scientist helps Ginny understand that there are things she can do to fight for and help the creatures that can’t – she doesn’t have to feel helpless. That realization helps her find the courage she needs to finish camp and return to her life back at home. For all the kids who love the world and don’t want to see it on fire – bonus if you also love pikas! An outstanding read about sensitive kids, climate anxiety, and saving the world. For middle and high school teens.

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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