The One Safe Place by Tania Unsworth
Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
Date Read: April 25, 2014
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Algonquin Books and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
I enjoyed this book and found the story intriguing. This book has a middle grade audience but I found it quite appealing even as an adult. The story pulls you in right away and keeps you interested until the very end.
This book is set in a future world that is quite hot. Devin has lived on the farm with his grandfather but when his grandfather suddenly dies, Devin must take care of the entire farm alone. When he realizes that the task is more than he can handle, Devin decides to head to the city to find help. City life turns out to be much harder than he expected. Devin is quickly robbed of all of his possessions and must make his way with nothing more than the clothes on his back.
Devin soon meets a young girl, Kit, who has learned how to navigate the cruel city. When the rains come, Devin and Kit seek refuge at an old school with other kids where they meet Roman. Roman invites Devin to come with him to a place where he will be taken care of, a home for children. Devin agrees to go but only if Kit can come as well. On the surface the children's home is more than they could have ever wished for but soon they learn that not everything is quite as it seems.
I found the world building in this book to be well done. I could completely envision the cruel city where children are left to fend for themselves in a world with too little food. The children's home was a world of its own even though it was largely a facade. I thought that the book was well written with believable characters.
I do have to admit that I am still a bit confused by Devin's special abilities and found that it added nothing to the story. I also thought that is was strange that Devin wanted to go to the children's home when his goal was to get help for his farm.
I would recommend this book. This is the first book by Tania Unsworth that I have had a chance to read. I plan to look for other works by this author in the future.