The One Safe Place by Tania Unsworth
Twelve year old Devin is ill prepared for what to do when his Grandpa suddenly passes away. They lived on a farm, one of the precious few left in the dystopian type world of despair, drought, and destruction. When Devin leaves the farm to go and find help in the direction that his Grandpa had always told him to go in the case of needing help, he instead finds wild kids of his own age without the skills or the care that he was nurtured in.
When Devin and a new friend Kit, hear about the Gabriel H. Penn Home for Childhood, a place that is said to be filled with others their age, lots of food and great accommodations, they hurry on to find this place that sounds too good to be true. As the old adage says…. if something sounds too good to be true…
it probably is.
I was impressed with this Middle Grade (MG) style audio book. The One Safe Place gives a modern and possibly creepier feel to the old Hansel and Gretel story… and as I write this I think this is more like a dystopian version of that story – obviously with a modern twist that helps it hold its own.
I enjoyed this audio of a strange world of survival at any cost. I also like that instead of the usual YA (16-20) characters that are often found in this type of read, they targeted it to a younger group who I think will really enjoy the feel of the book aimed at the MG readers. Nicely played Tania Unsworth.
Mark Turetsky was the narrator for this book and I think that may be my only unfortunate take away is that the narration felt as though someone was reading to me. I personally like to fall inside an audio book, forgetting about the narration and immersing in the world the author has created. The fact that I found myself thinking of the narration while listening to this book shows that did not happen. Narration was pleasant, do not get me wrong, and I know that it is certainly a skill that I do not have, but that is my take away.
Middle Grade listeners and readers will enjoy this perfect level of age appropriate creepy.