HMH Books for Young Readers
September 13, 2016
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Bahrain, 1970. After a summer spent with her family, fifteen-year-old Anna is flying back to boarding school in England when her plane is hijacked by Palestinian terrorists and taken to the Jordanian desert. Demands are issued. If they are not met, the terrorists will blow up the plane, killing all hostages. The heat becomes unbearable; food and water supplies dwindle. All alone, Anna begins to face the possibility that she may never see her family again. Inspired by true events in the author’s life, this is a story about ordinary people facing agonizing horror with courage and resilience. Includes Q&A with the author.
Girl on a Plane is based on actual events that took place in the Middle East in September of 1970.
I think that whether you know about the hijacking it's based on, know of it or don't read that little line on the cover and don't know it is based on anything, you can enjoy this book.
Author Miriam Ross does a fantastic job bringing readers into the time and the place. From the flat roof of their home in Bahrain to the plane full of cigar smoking, we're right there. The little things (like the ashtrays on the armrests or the comments on women's eye makeup) really do help you to feel what the time was like, to remember or realize details you've likely forgotten were true about the era.
What I think I appreciate most about the novel was how well the author included the political happening. Most anyone who reads 'Palestinian terrorist' will have some idea what their motivation and/or objectives are but Ross really helps us to see the specifics, and form a more human standpoint not just a political or objective one.
When that's put alongside Anna's fear, her desire to see her family again, her attempts to understand how people (some not much older than herself) could be so willing to kill them, it makes for a tense, emotional, complicated and compelling tale.
Miriam Ross's Girl on a Plane is a great read full of fantastic details that bring readers right to Anna, 1970 and that hijacked plane.
digital copy received, for review, from publisher via NetGalley