Imagine a world flooded with water. Most people are forced to work hard to survive while a powerful few enjoy lives of leisure and luxury on a mysterious, man-made island. It’s up to Spider and his newfound friend Ruby to change the fate of the AquaGrowers and HouseBoaters. But first they have to rescue Spider’s twin brother, Luke, who’s been imprisoned for attempting to organize an uprising against the powers that be.
Join the young heroes as they face down the ruthless Marauders and the all-powerful Chosen on their mission to unite humankind. The story invites readers to engage with an urgent question: What can happen to our planet if we don’t take proper care of it? With Spider and Ruby leading the way, readers explore the importance of friendship and discovering one’s true potential, the pitfalls of sibling rivalry, and, above all else, standing up for what’s right in the face of overwhelming odds – and that includes complacent adults.
My usual rant of middle grade books becoming much too long (300-400 pages) doesn’t apply here. Journey to Justice-The Adventures of Spider and Ruby tips the scales at just 161 pages. In this case though I’m wishing this tale had been longer.
Many scenes ended too abruptly or readers are told what happened. Despite this little nitpick, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride I took with the main characters, Spider and Ruby. The third person narration covers 30 chapters ending with hints of a sequel.
Most books about climate change center around what we need to do to turn this problem around. That’s not the case here as the plot focuses on the after, the time in the future when humans have lost the battle with a climate disaster they caused.
Twelve-year-old Spider lives on a houseboat with his parents. Twin brother Luke is no longer there after being arrested and banished to a prison on The Island. Spider decides he must save his brother leading him to meet Ruby. She lives in an underwater greenhouse with her parents and a grandfather (who becomes a key to the story).
Spider and Ruby become instant friends and together they plan to rescue Luke and change the unfair caste system the world must follow. Adventurous and appealing to both boys and girls, the story will for sure cause more discussion about the potential effects of global warming.
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT JOURNEY TO JUSTICE
- Despite being set in the future the settings felt real and not in the realm of a science fiction impossibility.
- Good versus Evil is exposed in marvelous fashion.
- Not one but two likeable heroes. Hopefully in a book two we will see some of their more flawed personality traits.
- The idea that no matter what happens there is always hope.
- It will get you thinking about how hard it would be to live on a planet made up mostly of water.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tanni Haas, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences, and Disorders at the City University of New York, Brooklyn College. He’s the author of three books and hundreds of academic and popular articles (including dozens of articles on parenting) and the editor of two books. His poems and short stories have appeared in many literary publications. His various writings have been translated into Chinese, Greek, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, and Spanish.
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