“A lone girl’s search for truth in a world of violence and lies. I read Flora’s story with my heart in my mouth.”
– Kat Armstrong, author of A Pair of Sharp Eyes.
Thirteen-year-old Flora lives with her guardian, Ramona, on the remote island of Tara where there are no computers, no tablets and no phones. They were all destroyed forty years ago, at the time of a global plague, to keep the islanders safe and cut off from the rest of the world.
Some time ago, Flora’s parents disappeared, and the island rulers refer to them as traitors. At first, Flora was able to continue to visit her grandparents who live in a guarded compound where old people are kept segregated because of their knowledge of IT, but she’s not been allowed to see them for months.
One night Flora finds a mobile phone on the floor of her cottage. As she stares at it, she’s grabbed from behind. Her attacker is Anders, a boy who used to be at her school. Pocketing the phone, he swears her to silence and vanishes. When Flora finally discovers where he’s gone, she meets a group of rebels. A meeting that changes her life – and everything she thought she knew – forever.
With strong and complex characters, Break Out is a fast-moving, tension-filled story of love, courage and divided loyalties.
Rosemary Hayes lives in rural Cambridgeshire but has also lived and worked in the USA and Australia. Her first novel for children Race Against Time (Penguin) won a national award and since then she has written over 40 books for young readers in a variety of genres ranging from historical fiction to fantasy.
Katherine Mortlock (Guest Review) - 20 Jan, 2023
A nail-biting read
Flora is bewildered – and she’s increasingly frightened. Why will no one tell her the truth, and why have her parents disappeared?
The concept of this story is simple but brilliant: I.T. is now the past, and those in power are determined to suppress it. A global plague, now long over, is the excuse, and thirteen-year-old Flora knows no other life than one of hardship and fear. Until one day when she discovers she’s no long alone.
I loved the remote, half-romantic, half-sinister setting of this book and I loved Flora for her passion and courage. Best of all I loved reading a story set in the not-too-distant dystopian future yet a future which contains hope. I think a lot of young readers will be chilled by the plausible world Hayes portrays, and will feel, like I did, that Flora’s journey has meaning for them.