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Kalahari

Cover of Kalahari

Kalahari

Deep in the Kalahari Desert, a Corpus lab protects a dangerous secret...
But what happens when that secret takes on a life of its own?

When an educational safari goes wrong, five teens find themselves stranded in the Kalahari Desert without a guide. It's up to Sarah, the daughter of zoologists, to keep them alive and lead them to safety, calling on survival know-how from years of growing up in remote and exotic locales. Battling dehydration, starvation and the pangs of first love, she does her best to hold it together, even as their circumstances grow increasingly desperate.

But soon a terrifying encounter makes Sarah question everything she's ever known about the natural world. A silver lion, as though made of mercury, makes a vicious, unprovoked attack on the group. After a narrow escape, they uncover the chilling truth behind the lion's silver sheen: a highly contagious and deadly virus that threatens to ravage the entire area—and eliminate life as they know it.

In this breathtaking new novel by the acclaimed author of Origin and Vitro, Sarah and the others must not only outrun the virus, but its creators, who will stop at nothing to wipe every trace of it.
Deep in the Kalahari Desert, a Corpus lab protects a dangerous secret...
But what happens when that secret takes on a life of its own?

When an educational safari goes wrong, five teens find themselves stranded in the Kalahari Desert without a guide. It's up to Sarah, the daughter of zoologists, to keep them alive and lead them to safety, calling on survival know-how from years of growing up in remote and exotic locales. Battling dehydration, starvation and the pangs of first love, she does her best to hold it together, even as their circumstances grow increasingly desperate.

But soon a terrifying encounter makes Sarah question everything she's ever known about the natural world. A silver lion, as though made of mercury, makes a vicious, unprovoked attack on the group. After a narrow escape, they uncover the chilling truth behind the lion's silver sheen: a highly contagious and deadly virus that threatens to ravage the entire area—and eliminate life as they know it.

In this breathtaking new novel by the acclaimed author of Origin and Vitro, Sarah and the others must not only outrun the virus, but its creators, who will stop at nothing to wipe every trace of it.
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Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.3
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    4

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Excerpts-
  • From the book ***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof***

    Copyright © 2015 Jessica Khoury



    O N E


    The lions were napping on the runway again.

    I held up a hand against the blazing African sun and stared at the small silver plane that was just minutes away from touching down. I'd have to move the pride before it landed.

    "Theo!" I called. The Bushman was sitting on the hood of the Land Cruiser, and when he looked my way, I pointed at the three lionesses and two cubs sunning themselves on the hard-packed sand. Laughing, he leaned backward and honked the horn of the truck, his way of saying we'd have to chase them off. I nodded and ran back to the Cruiser, tossing my folder of papers in the backseat.

    In a moment, I had the engine roaring and we were off, rattling down the runway toward the sleeping lions. They yawned and chuffed at me in a lazy attempt to scare me off, but I bore down on them. I recognized the pride; the lionesses were sisters, used to us rambling around the bush. They barely opened their eyes as the truck trundled up to them.

    I stopped the Cruiser, leaving the engine running, and climbed onto the hood. From there, I shouted and waved my arms, to the amusement of the cubs, who rolled and yowled and stretched. At last, their mothers lifted themselves up huffily and ambled off the runway. They were soon lost in the waving golden grass, their tawny coats blending into the dry savanna. Just the black tips of their tails showed, flickering slyly above the foliage, and then those too vanished.

    I drove the truck back to the other end of the runway and parked it, then grabbed my folder out of the backseat. The plane was dropping lower in the sky, lining up with the runway.

    Theo glanced at me sidelong. He was part Bushman, with the lovely golden skin characteristic of his nomadic ancestors, and though he was older than my father, he was no taller than I was. He had found a praying mantis somewhere, and the insect was crawling over his hands, from one to the other. As soon as it crawled onto one hand, he lifted the other and placed it in front, so that the mantis was continually crawling forward but getting nowhere. Theo could charm any creature that walked, crawled, flew, or slithered.

    "You look like you got a toothache, girl," he said.

    "Two weeks," I murmured, my eyes still on the plane. "What are we going to do with five teenagers from the city for two weeks?"

    "You're a teenager." He grinned, taking far too much delight in my dismay. "I am sure you will have a grand time."

    "Yeah. A grand old time." I sank lower in my seat and flipped open the folder, riffling through the documents inside. "I went to school for three months in the States once, did you know that? The kids in my class called me Mowgli and threw bananas at me during lunch."

    "What is the problem? At the end of the day, it was you who ended up with all the bananas." Theo turned in his seat, and though he was still smiling, his dark eyes were serious. "Tu!um-sa, it will be good for you. You cannot live your whole life with only animals for friends."

    "I can try." I sighed and shut the folder. "Here they come."

    The plane touched down in a cloud of dust, its silver sides reflecting golden grass and blue sky. It taxied down the short length and then turned, the propeller whipping up a whirlwind of sand. Theo and I got out of the truck and walked toward the plane, and I held my scarf over my mouth and nose to keep from breathing in the dust.

    After the engine died and the propeller wound down, the pilot ran around the front of the plane and opened the passenger door. I drew a deep breath and...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 15, 2014
    Khoury follows Origin and Vitro with another exciting novel of teens battling corporate evil in a far-flung setting. Sarah has grown up far from civilization, the daughter of field biologists, intelligent but ignorant of the outside world. She’s also still grieving her mother’s recent, supposedly accidental death. After Sarah’s father hastily leaves their Kalahari Desert camp to trail poachers and fails to return, she finds herself in charge of five ill-sorted American and Canadian teens from a conservation exchange program. When a mysterious silver lion suddenly appears, “as metallic and gleaming as mercury,” and the poachers turn out to be hired guns working for an illegal genetic research laboratory, Sarah and her greenhorn companions make a dangerous cross-country trek to escape. Khoury’s favorite story elements are all on display, including the talented but isolated heroine, evil corporate scientists, and a wilderness setting. Sarah is a believable heroine and the Kalahari a fascinating environment, though the teens’ encounters with dangerous animals come a bit too regularly. Still, it’s an enjoyable biological thriller that will appeal to Khoury’s existing readership. Ages 12–up. Agent: Lucy Carson, Friedrich Agency.

  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2014
    Sarah is forced to explore her own boundaries when left not just on her own, but wholly responsible for others. Sarah is not your average teen. Raised by zoologists in a series of remote and isolated environs, she doesn't really know how to relate to the teens who have come to Africa's Kalahari Desert on an educational safari. They thrive in cities and rely on electronic gadgets, while she relates to animal behavior and indigenous lore. In many respects, Sarah doesn't even speak the same language as these sophisticated visitors. But when her father is lost, her guide friend killed, their camp destroyed, and the survivors become the target of a paramilitary group, it's up to Sarah to lead them to safety. This means trekking across the desert, finding food and water, and avoiding animal predators and determined mercenaries on the hunt. But all this pales when Sarah discovers that some of the animals have been infected with a deadly disease...and that virus has now spread to her. The novel is part adventure, part science fiction and part love story, all parts in service to its theme of exploring independence and responsibility. Regrettably, narrator Sarah too often refers to guide and friend Theo as "the Bushman," a device that both distances and exoticizes him. Cultural infelicities aside, a gripping adventure. (Thriller. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-Having grown up traveling the world with her zoologist parents, Sarah doesn't have many friends that are human, let alone her own age. Now her mom is dead and it's just Sarah, her father, and their research assistant Theo camped in the middle of the Kalahari. Enter Avani, Joey, Sam, Miranda, and Kase, five teenagers signed up for an educational safari led by the teen's father. But when he and Theo leave the others on the first night in pursuit of dangerous poachers and never return, Sarah is left to keep herself and the visitors safe while simultaneously searching the desert for her dad and Theo. It doesn't take long for the group to discover that they are dealing with something far bigger than poachers as they come across a silver lion and a murdered Theo. They become the prey after they discover a top-secret laboratory that has unleashed a deadly virus. Can they find Sarah's father and the cure? Can they survive the desert climate and evade capture by the evil corporation? Khoury's latest novel is enthralling and filled with suspense, taking readers on a roller-coaster ride. Some parts of the story such as Sarah's romance with Sam seems contrived and the narrow escapes are often unbelievable. Still, this story is a entertaining and will capture teens' attention.-Betsy Davison, Cortland Free Library, NY

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • DOGO Books lemonade11 - This is the best book!!! A girl named Sarah lives with her dad and a bushman that is a good friend. Sarah and her dad are hosting a safari when Sarah's dad and the bushman see some mysterious people. They go off and Sarah is left to look after the 5 teens. After a couple of days, They don't see Sarah's father and go out looking for him. When the group is in the middle of the desert, they all see a lion. It appears to be white at first... Then Sarah notices that the lion is silver. After seeing the mystifying yet dangerous creature more than once, they become suspicious. Especially after they see some men destroying all Sarah Has left of her mother. Read the rest to see if they can stop the deadly virus and if Sarah ever finds her dad. I rated this book 5 stars because it was full of action, suspense and at times even a little romance! I totally recommend this book and found it because it was on my school summer reading list. Read the book to see what happens to all of the teens and her father!
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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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