Terror at Bottle Creek
An adrenaline-pumping story of life-threatening danger, an epic fight for survival, and the heroism of a 13-year-old boy caught out in the middle of the Alabama swamp lands in the middle of a Katrina-strength hurricane.
With his mother long departed, Cort and his father live on a houseboat on the banks of the bayou and after school he helps his father with his fishing guiding business. It has made Cort handy around boats and familiar with the dangers of the swamp but, when a series of catastrophes leaves him and two of his neighbour's daughters out in the storm alone, he needs all his skills to survive...
Washed up on the shores of a small mound in the river (their only hope of survival), they find they must share it with a horror cast of local wildlife facing the same plight - bears, cottonmouth snakes, ants, and a particularly enraged boar with a pathological desire to rip the three apart. And whilst dry land has its perils, the alligators waiting in the shallows for passing corpses are unlikely to pass up the opportunity to feast on a stray human.
Cort is a lovely character - kind, thoughtful and brave - and his friend Liza is a resilient and resourceful companion. Their major concern is Francie, Liza's younger sister, whom they need to care for and continually reassure - not an easy task when you are scared rigid yourself.
Punchy writing makes this an accessible read for the less-confident reader but appealing to adventure junkies of any ability.
In this gritty, realistic wilderness adventure, thirteen-year-old Cort is caught in a battle against a Gulf Coast hurricane. Cort's father is a local expert on hunting and swamp lore in lower Alabama who has been teaching his son everything he knows. But when a deadly Category 3 storm makes landfall, Cort must unexpectedly put all his skills and bravery to the test. One catastrophe seems to lead to another, leaving Cort and two neighbor girls to face the storm as best they can. Amid miles of storm-thrashed wetlands filled with dangerous, desperate wild animals, it's up to Cort to win or lose the fight for their lives. Terror at Bottle Creek by Watt Key is a harrowing survival story set in a gripping, man vs. nature situation. This is Hatchet for the post-Katrina generation, and it s sure to find an audience. Booklist "
This is Hatchet for the post-Katrina generation, and it's sure to find an audience. Booklist A harrowing tale of survival ... A page-turner that will have readers watching where they step and looking up into trees, long after the slithering and snorting end. School Library Journal A fast-paced adventure traces 13-year-old Cort s daring attempt to keep two neighbor girls alive during a hurricane ... Key brings to life the eerie quality of the Alabama swampland and the hidden dangers that lurk around every corner. Short, cliffhanger chapters will keep even the most reluctant readers engrossed. Publishers Weekly"
Watt Key lives in southern Alabama with his family, near the swamp where this story takes place. His debut novel, Alabama Moon, was named to Time Magazine's list of the Best Hundred YA Books of All Time. Terror at Bottle Creek is his fourth book.