Scottish Book Trust Book of the Month September 2012
"We don't like people who ask questions."
Sam is a Miner, digging Ore on Planet Hell. He's never been above ground - it's deadly up there. But then Sam starts asking too many questions, and now he's running for his life.
And there's only one way to go. Up.
Sam tried to think. He knew there must be a way into the air shaft from this tunnel. There should be a small opening covered by a metal grill. But where was it?
At last his fingers found the metal grill. The opening was tiny, but the air shaft on the other side would be big enough to crawl through.
“You’re already in trouble, boy. Don’t make it worse,” shouted a voice.
The Gang was rught behind him now!
Sam ripped the grill out of the wall and jammed himself into the opening.
He pushed with his feet and pulled with his hands and finally managed to squeeze through the tiny hole.
They’re too big to get in here, Sam told himself.
But he was wrong. One of the men was already forcing himself through the tiny opening.
“I’m going to get you for this, boy,” growled the man.
Sam backed away. He felt like a rat in a trap.
... that I'm quite scared of caves?
... that 3 of my sons struggled with reading when they were kids?
... that I love sci-fi!
"...a futuristic, nail-biting dystopian tale set in the labyrinthine underground tunnels of what remains of planet Earth. Like his late father, teenage Sam works at mining ore under the authority of The Gang, who inflict severe punishment on anyone who steps away from the rigorous rules. Instilled with horrific stories of life above ground, nobody ever leaves. Except Sam. When he stands up to The Gang, he is pursued through the tunnels. When he can go no further the choices are to venture up to the Surface or be killed. For age eight and an encouraging read for reluctant older readers. "
Mary Arrigan in the Irish Examiner, September 22, 2012
"A thought-provoking science fiction story which will intrigue the reader. "
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