Miracle in the Andes by Nando Parrado This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

June 14, 2010
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Imagine you are flying high over the Andes mountains with friends and family. You are about to land when you hear a hair-raising screech, a nail running down a chalkboard. You look and see that the tail of the plane has torn away and is falling to earth. Now you feel the sting of frigid air. In a split second you hit the ground with huge force. By the time your brain wraps around the idea, you black out.

This nonfiction book describes a group of Uruguayan rugby players who board a plane with family and friends to play a game in neighboring Chile. They all share a strong bond, but by the time everyone notices that the back of the plane is just a few feet from the tops of the mountains, it is too late. Suffering massive casualties, they are forced to endure through severe pain, starvation, and much more. In order to survive, the players must complete the ultimate task, before it is too late.

Parrado's great writing style keeps the reader wanting more. He includes descriptions that make you feel like you are part of the book, describing the crash site as “just metal and snow,” which shows there is nothing edible. These “pictures” made me think about how I would feel in that situation. Also, his characters are full of feeling and strength.

Throughout the book, survival was all I could think about. I can only imagine what I would do if fate made my plane crash. I believe that survival cannot be achieved alone. You need others and to learn to trust and care for one another.

Miracle in the Andes is a great read for those who enjoy compelling tales of survival, caring, and perseverance. Mature young adults are the ideal readers because of the occasional foul language and complex plots twisting and turning, and backtracking of characters' memories. I highly recommend this book; you may enjoy it as much as I did.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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