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<p>A page-turning story of survival in near-future England, about a boy who must go to all lenghts to find his dog and escape to freedom with a gang of rebel children!</p> <p>In a frighteningly real near future England, Jacob escapes from the Academy orphanage to reenter a world that is grimly recognizable. The Coalition can track anyone, anywhere, from a chip implanted at birth. Now Jacob must fulfill his promise to his parents, find his dog, Jet, and navigate his way out of England. Their only hope is a band of children who have found a way to survive off the grid: The Outwalkers.</p> <p>Their rules are strict, but necessary if they're going to get out alive . . .</p>
Trade Reviews

  School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Jacob Riley escapes from an Academy Home, a Dickensian orphanage in a future England ravaged by a purported virus. He plans to rescue his dog Jet and find his grandparents in Scotland. Immediately upon his escape, Jake is betrayed by former neighbors and chased by government "hubbers" who track him by means of a chip in the back of his neck. Then both Jake and Jet are rescued by a gang of "outwalkers" who excise the chip and invite Jake and his dog to join them on their way north. The gang steals and scavenges food, medicine, and clothing to survive. With skill, luck, courage, and occasional help from strangers, they brave government agents and unscrupulous adults to escape to Scotland and share information that could save England from its totalitarian nightmare. The dystopian buddy trope is well worn, yet Shaw draws such vivid circumstances and strong characters that this novel is impossible to set aside for long. The plot is detailed and exciting, and allegorical comparisons with the present day are compelling. It would be utterly inspiring but for one glaring sexist remark in which a character named Ollie "throws like a girl." VERDICT A strong additional purchase for collections in need of futuristic, dystopian middle grade fare.-Sheri Reda, Wilmette Public Library, IL © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

In a near-future England controlled by a group called the Coalition, Jake made his parents two promises before they died: to find his grandparents in Scotland and to always stay with his dog, Jet. As he tries to keep these promises, Jake meets the Outwalkers, who challenge everything he's known. To stay with the group, he must follow its rules or he'll be thrown out to survive on his own. Shaw's futuristic world offers a dark possible road for advanced technology that is scary in its realism. Jake's bond with Jet grounds the story, as this sweet relationship is all Jake has left of his family; Jet is Jake's friend and protector but also adds warmth and hope. The Outwalkers, all children from tragic backgrounds, have tough personalities that contrast with Jake's more innocent nature, while the Coalition rules with manipulation and control. This gritty action-adventure with layered characters, plenty of danger, and themes focused on immigration and government control will appeal to readers who appreciate a nuanced, thoughtful read.--Elizabeth Konkel Copyright 2018 Booklist
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