When Sam and his brother, Nathan, go on a caving expedition, the cave roof suddenly collapses, trapping Nathan. Nathan needs medical help in a hurry, and Sam is his only hope. When Sam reaches the cave’s entrance, he’s trapped by angry scorpions. But that’s just the first obstacle he must overcome in order to save his brother.
Once out of the cave, Sam must survive the desert heat and avoid terrorists, all while trying to figure out which direction to go to find help. On his way, he must remain calm and use all of the skills his brother taught him just to stay alive—because staying alive is the only way Nathan will get the help he needs.
Told from Sam’s point of view, Scorpion Sting is full of suspense right from the start. Sam is a likable character, who relies on his brother’s advice to get him through each obstacle. Full of kid-friendly adventure, readers won’t want to put this book down until they reach the exciting and surprising ending.
Although Sam is in danger of being killed several times, the scenes are not described in detail which allows the reader to use their imagination. Even though Sam faces several near-death experiences, the events are not scary because of Sam’s bravery and the lack of graphic detail.
The ending of the book will give the reader several unexpected surprises, including that the terrorists weren’t terrorists at all. A fast-paced adventure, Scorpion Sting will be enjoyed by children, especially boys, of all ages.
- While lost in the desert, Sam comes across a pack of dingoes. The dingo tries to eat a joey, so Sam wants to prevent the joey from becoming lunch. “I caught the dingo in a flying tackle, knocking it to one side. I landed on top . . . There was a whoosh of air being driven from its lungs and the horrible sound of a rib cracking. It let out a yowl of pain and bit me on the shoulder.”
- Someone shoots at Sam. He believes that the shots came from terrorists, who are conducting a training exercise.
- Sam and another boy hide from tanks. The boys inadvertently hide behind billboards that the tanks are firing at. “One of the tanks belched a yellow ball of flame. There was a whistling sound, followed by a loud crack. The billboard next to ours shuddered as a spray of wood chips and debris flew out of the back of it.” The boys are able to move and hide before they are hurt.
- Twice, a shell almost hits the boys. “A huge shock wave drove me face down into the sand with the force of a pile driver. All the wind was knocked out of me. I saw stars. For a few seconds I was completely out of it.”
- In order to save the Prime Minister, Sam tackles him. “The Prime Minister went down like a bag of cement, with me on top of him. As we hit the ground, there was an ear-splitting boom. I felt a blast of hot air and saw the jeep’s door spinning overhead like a Frisbee.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- When Sam is surprised or upset he yells, “Holy guacamole!”
- Sam follows Min Min lights, which are part of Australian folklore. The lights appear and disappear quickly, but the source is unknown.