An Inspiring, Life-Affirming Novel (from Argentina!)
Kamchatka? Is it a foreign candy? A Native American tribe? For 10-year-old Harry, it's a frozen Russian peninsula—the last stronghold in his favorite game of Risk—and the last thing his father whispers to him before disappearing llike so many other political activists in the '70s during the Argentine "dirty war." When friends start going missing, the Vincente family is forced into a state of suspended animation as they leave their life behind and assume new identities in a quinta in the countryside. But what does it take for an individual to stop surviving and start living? Funny, wistful and wise, Kamchatka is a moving lesson on science and history as well as a tale of courage and unbreakable family bonds; it's a story of a boy who longs to be an escape artist like his hero Houdini and who plays so that he will not perish. "You had to pretend to ignore the problem if you were to get through it, otherwise it was like surrendering," he explains. Ultimately, the novel suggests that our stories do not end, that heroism lies in one's ability to change, and that we all need a place where we can retreat to before we can learn to face the world again.