About the Book
Author: Kathy Cassel
Release date: March, 2022
Catching Hope: A pursuit fraught with danger.
Newly adopted Lexi Michaels is taking her first real vacation as she, twin brother Levi, adoptive brother Chad, and new cousin Jen head to Haiti where their dad, a pediatrician, will be volunteering in an island clinic. But who is the man who displays such hatred for the Michaels when they arrive at their resort? Is an attempted burglary as random as it appears? Will Jen ever accept the newcomers to the family? When the four teens set out to explore Haiti’s sights and history on their own, an unexpected encounter and natural disaster plunge them into adventure and danger. With their very survival at stake, can the four teens work together, or will Lexi’s dream of a “forever family” end in tragedy?
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This is an exciting novel for young readers. It is a good introduction to the culture and needs of Haiti. There are dangerous events the youth must navigate, from earthquakes to being kidnapped. There is the challenge of being in a foreign country and not knowing the language. There are scary events to face, such as jumping over a crevasse. There is the challenge to trust God when bad things are happening.
Cassel's writing style is engaging. I like how issues facing youth are explored. There is a spoiled gal in the group who must face her own attitude. There are challenging times when the kids must have faith in God even as they do their best to stay alive. There is the subtle desire to belong to a family forever. There is even the theological question of why God allows bad things to happen.
There is quite a bit of action in the plot, something young readers should like. There is a villain worthy of the adventurous kids. There is a clear message of trusting God and finding hope in Him. It is a good novel for youth.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author
More from Kathy
My Experience with Haiti
I knew where it was because our family had adopted a child from Haiti in 1997. At the time the earthquake took place, my husband and I were in the process of adopting twins from a different orphanage in Port au Prince Haiti. It had been over three years and our adoption was not yet complete. During those three years I visited the twins at the orphanage five times. Other family members went with me on some of those trips, and at one point, all of our children still living at home went to visit the orphanage.
This was an eye opening experience for my family. In fact, I volunteered us to do the daily wash. That meant hand washing clothes and sheets for 135 orphans using large metal tubs and harsh soap, then rinsing the clothes in other tubs before hand wringing them and hanging them on clotheslines. Once home, my children no longer complained about unloading the dryer!
Cooking was done in large pots over open fires and mainly consisted of rice and beans, or red sauce over rice. The cooks originally prepared the food in a wooden shack, but more than once one of them would get so hot she’d pass out, so an outdoor area was set up for food preparation.
Some of the places mentioned in the book resemble real places in Haiti, although they have been fictionalized. I hope you will not only read Catching Hope, but will also take time to learn more about the country of Haiti.
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I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)