Author(s): Amber J. Keyser
Rakmen Cannon's life is turning out to be one sucker punch after another. His baby sister died in his arms, his parents are on the verge of divorce, and he's flunking out of high school. The only place he fits in is with the other art therapy kids stuck in the basement of Promise House, otherwise known as support group central. Not that he wants to be there. Talking doesn't bring back the dead.
When he's shipped off to the Canadian wilderness with ten-year-old Jacey, another member of the support group, and her mom, his summer goes from bad to worse. He can't imagine how eight weeks of canoeing and camping could be anything but awful.
Yet despite his expectations, the vast and unforgiving backcountry just might give Rakmen a chance to find the way back from broken . . . if he's brave enough to grab it.
Amber J. Keyser's debut novel is a wrenching and brutally honest story of adversity and hope.
I really enjoyed this book. It has great descriptions of the Canadian wilderness, such that you feel you are there. It has hardship and adventure, such that you wince and groan and are glad you're only an armchair adventurer (well, of course I speak for myself - for others it might inspire to get into the outdoors). It has issues of dealing with grief and with being a teenager - weathering the storms both physically and emotionally.
I can thoroughly recommend it! - Kathleen, @ Dorothy Butler Children's Bookshop, June 2018.