Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake
English | 2020 | Children/Young Adult | ePUB | 2.9 MB
From the Printz Award winning author of Satellite comes a compelling new novel about a girl who must brave the elements to help a lost child with an other-worldly secret.
16-year-old Emily is on the run. Between her parents and the trouble she’s recently gotten into at school, she has more than enough reason to get away. But when she finds a little boy named Aidan wandering in the woods, she knows she needs to help him find his way home. But getting home is no easy matter, especially with Emily finds out that Aidan isn’t even from Earth. When their plane crashes into the side of a snowy mountain, it’s up to Emily to ensure Aidan and their pilot, Bob, make it off the mountain alive. Pursued by government forces who want to capture Aidan, the unlikely team of three trek across the freezing landscape, learning more about each other, and about life, than they ever thought possible.
“It’s OK,” she said. “It’s going to be OK.” Her voice was damped, as if wrapped in snow. Flakes of it were whirling in through the hole where the plane’s tail had been.
She saw a protruding metal bar, part of what had been the frame of a pair of seats. She pried it away from the rest of the structure, one end of it flattened, but still hard, still long.
“I’m going to lever the floor up,” she said.
Aidan nodded. His pupils were large; frightened; animal. But at least they were both the same size. In Emily’s ballet class back in Minnesota, a girl had fallen during a lift and hit her head, knocking herself out. Matching pupils were the first thing the paramedics had checked for.
She wedged one end of the bar into the gap, pushed it down as hard as she could, and was more shocked than she should have been when it met with a hard, jarring resistance she recognized as belonging to half-frozen earth. The ground under the plane. Then she leaned all her weight on the other end of the bar, and with a creak she felt more than heard, the raised section of floor lifted.
Aidan scooted out, and as soon as he was clear, she dropped the bar and pulled him close. “Your leg?”
He touched it experimentally. “Fine, I think. There’s a ringing in my head. Like a bell that won’t stop.”
“Yes,” said Emily. “Mine too.”
She pulled him to the side of the plane so they were sitting against the curve of it. He was light, small, easily movable.
“Will the plane explode?” he asked. His head came up only to her shoulder.
“I don’t know,” she said.
“I’ve seen that happen in movies,” he said.
“From the fuel.”
“Yes.” She paused. “But it’s snowing out there and, like, minus ten. In here we’re sheltered at least. A little.”
He looked skeptically at the snow dusting their clothes. “A very little.”
A part of Emily’s mind marveled at itself—calmly weighing the risk of being blown up against the risk of hypothermia. If only Miss Brady could see her now. Thinking of Miss Brady made her think of that last day at school: the orange and blue flames licking up the locker-room walls; the sirens; the sparks snowing, glowing red, into the sky.
She shook her head, refusing the memory.
She tried to think, to crystallize the options. Absurdly, her first instinct was to call Jeremy, ask him for advice, but he was a lifetime away in Minnesota, and anyway she’d left her phone at home—she hadn’t wanted anyone to trace it.
She looked forward, toward the cockpit.
“I need to check on the pilot,” she said.
Aidan turned his head. The back of the plane was a raw circle, a horrific O, with snow outside it. The front was a twisted mess leading to darkness. A scene from a wrecking yard.