Are things really as bad as they seem? Radley in Safekeeping by Karen Hesse doesn’t know. She left the orphanage in Haiti she was volunteering at when she heard the United States was under Marshal Law. Things were falling apart after the assassination of the president, and Radley just wanted to get home to be with her parents.
The problem is, things are much worse than she anticipated when she arrives back in the states. There are now travel restrictions and she is forced to walk to her home. Upon arrival she is in for more surprises, and not pleasant ones. She becomes afraid of the police who start knocking on her door day and night, and what has happened to her town. Where are all the people? Who can she trust?
Radley finds herself in a situation none of us want to be in – suddenly forced to grow up without the aide of friends or family, and in a hostile world that feels out of control. This is a journey she must face, at times on her own, and at times with help, but still, she must make life decisions.
Safekeeping is a quiet book with a ton of punch. Radley moves through her new alien world with grace and strength. A powerful read.
Highly recommended for grades 7 and up.