Jonathan Palmer, his younger sister Abby, and their parents are taking a camping trip to a nearby island when Mrs. Palmer slips and breaks her ankle. There is no medical help on the island, so his parents trust Jonathan to take care of disabled sister while Mr. Palmer rushes his wife to a hospital on the mainland.
When Abby was two, she slipped and fell on the playground, an accident that left her partially paralyzed from the waist down. Now she uses a walker, but she still takes a long time to move a short distance and needs help over rough ground.
Still, Jonathan thinks that they will just have an easy, boring day while waiting for their parents to return. But then the woods go silent. Their German Shepard, Moose, begins acting uneasy.
And then the earthquake hits.
It knocks out the bridge between island and mainland, and worse, causes a flood that is slowly putting the island under water. With Abby and her walker, and no way back to the mainland, how is Jonathan going to keep them safe until their parents come to rescue them?
Peg Kheret writes excellent thrillers for kids (my personal favorite is The Stranger Next Door). Jonathan’s compelling struggle to save his sister, his dog, and himself is tightly woven and tense, even if that means that the book is a bit short. Still, Earthquake Terror is a great read for rainy days, and for those reluctant readers, too.