by Louis Sachar
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
Personal Evaluation: I read this book (and its sequel) a few years ago and loved it. I knew that there was a twist and remembered the general resolution but was still pleasantly surprised at the connection between two of the characters. I actually thought the movie added a lot to the story – you really get a feel for the desolation of the desert setting, and the flashbacks were well-done. My cousin uses this book and movie in her 4th-grade classroom and finds the kids riveted.
What might interest children: There is plenty of adventure and high scare factor in the yellow-spotted lizards and rattlesnakes, as well as the idea of surviving on onions. This is another puzzle story that is well-executed and has a nicely tied up ending.