Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 176
Themes: Cousins, grief, hiking, danger, confidence
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/Sep/2011
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Twelve-year-old Tabitha is less than thrilled when her parents send her on a hiking trip with her cousins, Ashley and Cedar, and her Aunt Tess. For one thing, she's not much of a hiker. And she's pretty sure her cousins hate her. But even Ashley can't blame Tabitha for everything that goes wrong: the weather turns ugly, a bear comes into the cabin, Ashley and Tess are injured and Max, the family's beloved dog, disappears. When rescue finally arrives, Tabitha realizes that she is no longer the timid, out-of-shape girl she used to be. She's become strong, resourceful and brave in the face of adversity—no matter what form it takes.

Kirkus Reviews
"The setting is well realized, and the authentic action sustains interest...A taut adventure tale that features plenty of action and some troubled relationships."
School Library Journal
"The characters and their motivations are well developed. The plot is simple, but entertaining, and the survival aspects of the story are realistic and suspenseful. Chapter transitions are smooth and easy to follow. Fans, including reluctant readers, of Gary Paulsen, Will Hobbs, and other writers of survival fiction will enjoy this book."
Resource Links
"This fish-out-of-water story will appeal to both urban and outdoorsy readers."
CM Magazine
"A gripping story for young readers, and it is impressive that, in a short book with accessible language, she has managed to capture suspense, realism, and an empathetic protagonist. The narrative unfolds at a mesmerizing pace, and the plot propels itself forward so that each page turn brings a new twist in the story. Perhaps the most captivating element of Count Me In lies in its realism. Both in the description of the physical landscape and the relationship between Tabitha and each of her family members, Leach has written a novel that is easy to visualize and understand...Count Me In succeeds in every way. It is difficult to write a suspenseful story in clear language for young readers, but Leach has surmounted the obstacle, and the result is a story that is touching and powerful. Young readers (and older story lovers, too) will find this book too good to put down. Highly Recommended."
Tacoma Public School District
"Girls will especially like the strong female characters...The author creates believable characters, exciting situations and interesting conflicts."


Red Cedar Book Award  | 2012 | Winner
CCBC Best Books  | 2012 | Commended

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