Publisher: Pushkin Children’s Books

When his dad dies, teenager Jack is devastated. They were so close, especially as Jack’s mum, an environmental anthropologist, was often away with work. Struggling to manage his grief, Jack spirals out of control, rejecting everything that reminds him of his father, including friends and school. He falls in with the wrong crowd and begins truanting, shoplifting and vandalising property.

Over the Christmas holidays, Mum suggests they go overseas for a break, but Jack is livid when he realises that she has dragged him along on a work trip to South America. Guided by Mum’s local colleague Maria and her teenage daughter Pakoyai, they journey deep into the rainforest in search of an indigenous tribe who are at risk from illegal loggers in the region. Jack must put his emotions aside if he is to deal with the day-to-day challenges of the inhospitable rainforest, from blistering heat to poisonous insects. When Mum disappears, Jack is terrified that he has lost her too.

Jack’s complex emotions are powerfully portrayed in this multi-layered tale, which is beautifully written and full of heart. The novel also highlights the devastating impact of deforestation and the violent actions of illegal loggers. Highly recommended.

Pan mae ei dad yn marw, mae Jack sydd yn ei arddegau wedi’i lorio’n llwyr. Wrth fethu mynd i’r afael â’i alar, mae Jack yn colli rheolaeth.

Pan mae ei fam yn awgrymu eu bod yn mynd am seibiant dramor, mae Jack yn wallgof pan mae’n sylweddoli ei bod wedi’i lusgo ar siwrnai gwaith i Dde America, yn teithio i’r fforestydd glaw yn chwilio am lwyth brodorol sydd mewn perygl oherwydd coedwyr anghyfreithlon yn yr ardal. Eto, pan mae Mam yn diflannu, mae Jack wedi’i barlysu gan ofn ei fod wedi’i cholli hi hefyd.

Mae emosiynau Jack yn cael eu portreadu’n bwerus yn yr hanes amlhaen hwn, sydd wedi’i ysgrifennu’n gelfydd a llawn calon. Mae’r nofel hefyd yn tynnu sylw at effeithiau dinistriol datgoedwigo.


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