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Egypt, 1884: Fourteen-year-old Staś Tarkowski grew up along the banks of the Suez Canal, convinced that he was more than ready to take on anything that life might throw at him. His cocky self-assurance is put to the test when he and his young friend, Nell, are kidnapped for ransom by fanatical members of an Islamist rebellion.

Now held hostage and destined for a meeting with the uprising's infamously cruel leader, Staś and Nell are faced with a perilous journey through the Sahara Desert. Staś will have to muster all of his ingenuity and inner strength if he is to free himself and Nell, while suffering at the hands of their heartless captors.

As they are taken farther south than anyone expected, their situation appears hopeless. Even if they can escape their kidnappers, it would only mean death from disease, hungry predators and other dangers in Africa's unexplored wilderness. Armed with only his trusty rifle and their unyielding determination, Staś and Nell find allies among the indigenous people, adventurers and even animals they meet along the way. But it may not be enough for them to escape, survive and find their way home. The impossible, life-changing journey will take them and their new friends, Kali and Mea, across half of Africa -- before the final challenge that may prove too much for them to overcome.

Don't miss this thrilling, adventure-filled journey of danger, self-discovery and friendship, first penned in 1910 by Polish Nobel Prize-winning author Henryk Sienkiewicz. Now translated into contemporary English for modern audiences by Andrew Anžur Clement, PhD and author of the Keepers of the Stone trilogy, this timeless tale shows how much we can accomplish by never giving up hope, never losing sight of who we are and never surrendering what we hold most dear.

Young adult
28 september
Andrew Anzur Clement

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