2012-2013 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List

“Readers…who want more suspense in their mysteries will be hooked by 13-year-old Lucy Hoffman in Escape Under the Forever Sky…. The author gracefully portrays the beauty of Ethiopia — the land, the animals and the people — in this high-action escapade, salted with harrowing run-ins with colobus monkeys, lions and hyenas. Plenty of teenage angst provides a shot of realism in this page-turner.” … Chicago Sun-Times

“Teens itching to read about life on another continent will relish Yohalem’s exciting debut novel set in Africa…. Yohalem’s tale weaves together the beauty of the African wildlife with the harsh realities of a poor and unstable region. Scenes depicting Lucy’s resourcefulness are riveting, and the author’s descriptions of Ethiopian culture will pique young readers’ curiosity about life abroad.”… Booklist

“Lucy’s past and present are gracefully woven together, through well-integrated flashbacks, into a powerful picture of the life of a foreigner in Ethiopia. The story should appeal to all with a sense of adventure.”… Publishers Weekly

“Yohalem effectively conveys the immediacy of Lucy’s terror and fear as well as her deep love for the natural beauty around her. How stalwart Lucy escapes and survives makes this an engrossing journey from innocence to experience.”… Kirkus Reviews

“Although this is a work of fiction, this book reads like a true account of an ambassador’s daughter’s kidnapping, escape and safe return to her family. Race with Lucy as she flees her captors and revel in the local villagers in Ethiopia who care for her as she returns to her family. This book is impossible to put down.”… Kiwi Magazine

“Everything about this book screams “Disney turn me into a children’s movie!”…The book keeps you on the edge of your seat…I hated putting the book down for routine things like dinner preparations, laundry, etc. I loved it. The pace is perfect and the writing style and vocabulary is perfect for pre-teens.”… Roundtable Reviews for Kids