Book - 2010
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In 1976 Buenos Aires, a ten-year-old boy lives in a world of school lessons and comic books, TV shows and games of Risk--a world in which men have superpowers and boys can conquer the globe on a rectangle of cardboard. But in his hometown, the military has just seized power, and amid a climate of increasing terror and intimidation, people begin to disappear without a trace.

When his mother unexpectedly pulls him and his younger brother from school, she tells him they're going on an impromptu family trip. But he soon realizes that this will be no ordinary holiday: his parents are known supporters of the opposition, and they are going into hiding. Holed up in a safe house in the remote hills outside the city, the family assumes new identities. The boy names himself Harry after his hero Houdini, and as tensions rise and the uncertain world around him descends into chaos, he spends his days of exile learning the secrets of escape.

Kamchatka is the portrait of a child forced to square fantasy with a reality in which family, politics, history, and even time itself have become more improbable than any fiction. Told from the points of view of Harry as a grown man and as a boy, Kamchatka is an unforgettable story of courage and sacrifice, the tricks of time and memory, and the fragile yet resilient fabric of childhood.
Publisher: New York : Black Cat, 2010
ISBN: 9780802170873
Branch Call Number: F Fig
Additional Contributors: Wynne, Frank


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Feb 11, 2013

I just finished reading this book, which was on the recommended shelf from the bookstore. It was a welcome change from books about childhood in which all the characters seem to be fighting and hurting each other most of the time. Here, there is dangerous political turmoil going on in the background, but the story is about the family and the love they have for each other. You can feel the anquish in chosing between what is right and what is safe, and must wonder how the parents could deal with the knowledge that their children were in danger because they were fighting for justice. I did not find the philosophical asides to be all that long-winded compared to many other books I have read, and some of them were humorous.


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