Book Review: The Raft by S. A. Bodeen

The Raft is a survival tale told from the point of view of a teenager named Robie, who lives on the Midway Atoll (in the Pacific). While visiting her aunt on Hawaii, Robie decides to go home early and takes a cargo flight home. But she is not recorded on the manifest, and the plane goes down in bad weather. Max, the co-pilot, saves her by flinging her out of the plane. They land on the life raft in shark-infested waters with a bag of Skittles and very little else. I won’t spoil the rest of the story J

I enjoyed the voice. Told in first person, the story was engaging and a fast read. I read it in two sittings. There is a twist to the story, which I figured out right away, but a younger or more inexperienced reader may not have caught the clues. Even having figured out the twist, I enjoyed the plot. The only disappointment was that I wanted a bit more “survival” details thrown in. Growing up, I was an avid Gary Paulsen reader, and I loved all the survival details he added to his stories. I thought Robie was too decisive in throwing away or ignoring items that could be useful in a life-saving situation. Her character, however, was more focused on accomplishing brave deeds than on showing off her survival skills.


This book is one of the 2014-15 Loudoun County Battle of the Books selections. The selections are as follows. Since The Scarred Letter was chosen as one of the selections, I will be attending the competition and will also be reading the rest of the selections. Books I’ve reviewed from this list are hyperlinked:




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