Across the Desert Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
|Free with your Audible trial|
Audio CD, CD, Unabridged, Import
One girl sets out on a journey across the treacherous Arizona desert to rescue a young pilot stranded after a plane crash in this gripping story of survival, friendship, and rescue from a bestselling and award-winning author.
Twelve-year-old Jolene spends every day she can at the library watching her favorite livestream: The Desert Aviator, where twelve-year-old "Addie Earhart" shares her adventures flying an ultralight plane over the desert. While watching this daring girl fly through the sky, Jolene can dream of what it would be like to fly with her, far away from her own troubled home life where her mother struggles with a narcotic addiction. And Addie, who is grieving the loss of her father, finds solace in her online conversations with Jolene, her biggest - and only - fan.
Then, one day, it all goes wrong: Addie's engine abruptly stops, and Jolene watches in helpless horror as the ultralight plummets to the ground and the video goes dark. Jolene knows that Addie won't survive long in the extreme summer desert heat. With no one to turn to for help and armed with only a hand-drawn map and a stolen cell phone, it's up to Jolene to find a way to save the Desert Aviator. Packed with adventure and heart, Across the Desert speaks to the resilience, hope, and strength within each of us.
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|Listening Length||6 hours and 13 minutes|
|Audible.in Release Date||29 March 2022|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #65,291 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#76 in Survival Stories for Children
#1,352 in Growing Up & Facts of Life for Children
#28,822 in Children's Action & Adventure
Top review from India
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Twelve year old Jolene loves watching the livestream videos of her online friend Addie as the latter flies her ultralight plane over the Arizona desert. Jolene finds Addie’s adventures a virtual escape from her personal issues as her mother battles an opioid addition. Addie, who is struggling to come back to normalcy after the death of her father a few months before, loves interacting with Jolene, her biggest fan and the one person always there to watch her live feed.
During one such livestream, Addie’s plane engine stops and Addie crashes somewhere in the desert. The only witness to the accident is Jolene, whom no one is ready to believe. Will Jolene be able to save her virtual friend using the limited knowledge and resources she has?
The story is narrated in the first person perspective of Jolene.
There is a lot in the story that middle graders will enjoy. Addie’s passion for flying is enthusiastic and her daredevilry seems intriguing. Jolene’s troubles with her mother also strike a chord. There is a lot of humour and emotion in the story. This, plus the adventurous rescue effort, is bound to make them happy.
The story covers quite a few relevant themes, including Jolene’s low self-confidence because of her looks, her mother’s opioid addiction, and the issues of online safety and risks of talking with virtual acquaintances. Most of these are covered well.
Jolene’s efforts to rescue Addie go somewhat predictably and even irritably, what with one issue after another. There’s one line in the story that goes, “This whole ordeal feels like obstacle after obstacle.” Well, I felt the same way. More importantly, the parent part of me wasn’t too happy with some of the decisions taken by Jolene. Granted, she had her reasons to go on this daring sojourn without her mother, but there is always someone to approach for help, ALWAYS. Stealing your parents’ phone and credit card and assuming you can handle the rest, lying about your online activities or whereabouts, making a rescue plan that doesn’t include the safety of yourself too - none of these are takeaways I want kids to have. All of these can be taken as lessons on what not to do, provided kids understand this as such.
All in all, this is a good story, and I hope kids read it with the right approach and take the correct takeaways from it rather than treating it as a sanction to proceed with ill-advised solo adventures.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book at my request and these are my honest thoughts about it.