Safe House by James Heneghan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wow...Orca published a pretty darn exciting book about The Troubles in Northern Ireland--how cool is that?
I loved Orca when I was a high school librarian because of all the books they published for reluctant readers. They are also a Canadian company, so I liked how many of the books were set there and were good for rural folks.
This quick novel is nonstop action--Liam's parents are murdered in the first chapter, and now he is being hunted because he saw one of the killers take off his mask. After a trip to the police force, Liam is taken to a Catholic safe house where he is basically kept prisoner. However, the killer finds him there, too, thanks to someone being willing to be paid off.
I love how the author describes the conflict between Catholics and Protestants, and how the town is divided and at war. There isn't much description since this is for reluctant readers, but it's still a good explanation of what is was like to be a twelve-year-old boy living in a war zone.
This is a 4 star book because of how well it's written for reluctant readers, not necessarily 4 stars for adults and regular teens. It would be a great book to use in a world history classroom for reading circles of different reading levels.
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