Saturday, August 11, 2012

the barefoot bandit by bob friel

At the tender age of ten, Colton Harris-Moore was already committing his first light crimes, breaking into homes in his island community and foraging for food. Born into rural poverty to an alcoholic and abusive mother, Colt's escapades quickly escalated in severity, and by the time he was caught for the last time, he had led the FBI, local law enforcement, and a host of militia men on a wild goose chase across North America that ended in the Bahamas. Friel's local insight (he resides on Orcas Island, the scene for a multitude of Colt's crimes) and dedication to telling Colt's story without judging make for a stunningly intimate portrait of a survivor. I cried when I read about the 'keepsakes' Colt kept in a ziplock bag and carried with him until his final arrest. A meticulously researched biography that will astound and surprise you - whether you are familiar with Colton Harris-Moore's story or not. If you are a native of the Pacific Northwest like myself, you will particularly enjoy the local settings and atmosphere Friel adeptly describes. The perfect match for adventure/survival fiction enthusiasts. Give it to fans of Krakauer's Into the Wild and don't miss all of the extras on Mr. Friel's website, including google maps of Colt's trail and a custom flying tour that teen readers will love. Highly recommended. Grade 9+