Lang, Heidi. Out of Range. Fiction. McElderry, 06/2022. 320pp. $17.99. 978-1-6659-0334-9. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 5-8.
Nothing has been the same among three sisters Ollie, Emma, and Abbey, since the move from Northern California to Salt Lake City, Utah. And at first it seems like their parents’ solution, to ship them off to Camp Unplugged, isn’t going to change that. But then, on a hike the girls make one more bad decision, take one more wrong turn, say one more unforgivable thing and suddenly it’s not an issue of sibling bonding, it’s an issue of survival. The structure of the book is complex—divided into three acts, with chapters that shift among the three girls’ perspectives and alternate between before and now. Skillful writing ensures the reader’s attention remains engaged; a chapter will end with 12-year-old Emma in the present realizing she is physically lost, and the following chapter will open with eighth-grade Abbey feeling emotionally lost, adrift in a new school. Each chapter manages to provide emotional and physical drama and plenty of character insights. Themes resonate, but never cross over into the didactic, as the girls battle to survive both human nature and the natural world. This book contains California-specific content. Review based on an ARC.