The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu [in Library Journal]
For five preteen Camp Forevermore girls, a simple overnight kayaking trip turns horrifying when their group leader dies mysteriously and the girls must find their way back alone. One insists on remaining with the corpse; the others leave and promise to send help. Interspersed with their dramatic quest are the girls’ individual stories – each voiced by a separate narrator – before and after their Forevermore experience.
Soneela Nankani is precocious medical school-ed Nita, who becomes a troubled mother of two. Andee’s story, read by Tavia Gilbert, is told by her sister Kayla, who chronicles the siblings’ peripatetic childhood driven by their self-absorbed single mother’s whims. Nicol Zanzarella is Isabel, who experiences brief happiness in marriage. Emily Woo Zeller is dream-chasing Dina, who finds only disappointment in Los Angeles. Sophie Amoss is Siobhan, who’s both omniscient(-enough) narrator for the girls’ ordeal, and elliptically reveals her own adulthood as a psychology researcher.
PEN/Hemingway finalist Kim Fu’s (For Today I Am a Boy) exploration of the harrowing intersecting moment among young people who barely know each other is a fascinating puzzle of reactions and reverberations; the full cast underscores the girl’s individual lives.
Verdict: Libraries should encourage the broader audiences Fu’s work so deserves by providing her titles in all formats.
Review: modified from “Audio,” Library Journal, April 15, 2018
Readers: Young Adult, Adult