Jake Knight is the privileged 15-year-old son of the British Ambassador to Burkina Faso. When he is suspended from his oppressive boarding school, he is excited for what he anticipates to be a vacation in the dry heat of Africa. Instead, he finds himself kidnapped by the most wanted outlaw/terrorist in Africa. He must tap into his wits and sense of adventure to save himself, his sister and his friends.
I loved the twists that defined this novel – it turned an obvious plot into a labyrinth that I thoroughly enjoyed losing myself in. I’d rate it four stars — I liked it a lot. Jake’s wall-walking talent certainly caught my attention, but the lessons he and his sisters learned about assumptions, loyalty and right and wrong held me until the very last page. The characters were all strong and unique and extremely easy to fall in love with. While I think anybody 10 and up would be perfectly able to read this, an older reader would be able to fully appreciate the complex questions it poses about loyalty, government and wealth distribution. All in all, Outlaw is a thrilling read.
Reviewed by Marissa, grade 9