The Raft


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            Imagine you have been visiting your aunt in Honolulu, but you must return home alone. After you board a last minute cargo flight, your plane hits nasty weather. When it crashes into the Pacific Ocean, you're left to live on a small inflatable raft. Your only supplies are a bag of skittles and a survival kit from the airplane. Time is running out for you and the only other survivor. To make matters worse, you soon discover that no one knew you were on that flight, so no one is coming to save you. This is Robie’s reality in S.A Bodeen’s survival novel, The Raft.

            Bodeen’s plot centers around Robie trying to survive after the plane crash. She made this book very plausible with the amazing dialogue, visuals, and lots of Robie’s thoughts and feelings. This setting is realistic because Robie is stranded in the Pacific Ocean. Robie and Max are believable characters because they have backstories and personalities. Max even has a journal that helps readers get to know him.

            There are two main themes here, keep on trying, and don’t be in such a rush to gain independence. At the beginning of the narrative, Robie craves independence. When her aunt has to visit a friend, Robie convinces her to let her stay on her own at her aunt’s house. She remarks, “Or I could just stay at your place by myself. … I’m almost sixteen.”

Her aunt replies with, “You’ve only been fifteen for two months.” This gives us an idea of how much Robie yearns for freedom. As the novel progresses, she learns that being independent isn’t all that it seems. The second theme, keep on trying, is shown especially when Robie struggles to survive, but she doesn’t give up, even when her situation seems hopeless. Bodeen does a stellar job making these themes shine through.

            Readers will love The Raft because of how plausible the plot is and the research that went into writing this story. This novel is enjoyable, realistic, and fast-paced. This survival novel keeps readers wanting to know what happens next to Robie and Max. Bodeen brings an amazing survival novel to the table with The Raft and highlights important themes for teens about not being too eager to be independent.




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