Switch! The Lost Kingdoms of Karibu - Karen Prince
Karen Prince has created a timeless masterpiece of jungle fever that will have every teenager begging for more. Her obvious love of her homeland Zimbabwe shines from every page with startling knowledge and insights to the hardships and wonders encountered in the bush.
Ethan is a pampered teenager used to the comforts of wealth, hates dirt, animals, anything outside his comfort zone which is basically outside the walls of his home. During a visit to his family’s farm, Ethan’s friend Joe invites him on a camping trip. Reluctantly Ethan agrees and while having a swim at the Crystal Pools Joe vanishes before Ethan’s eyes to be replaced by Gogo Maya, a tribal witch.
Ethan dives into the water to save Joe but returns to the surface with a strange amulet that gives him even stranger powers. Gogo Maya tells Ethan the truth of Joe’s disappearance – that she switched with his body to escape the Tokoloshe - forcing Ethan to gather a hunting party of teenage boys and trek into the vast jungle to save his friend. He is not alone as the amulet has empowered Ethan with all of Gogo Maya’s magic.
Now Ethan’s prissy ways are tested to the extreme as with each dangerous encounter he sheds his finicky childhood and grows stronger. Along the way Ethan gains the trust of the Tokoloshe Tribe, battles vampire fireflies, strange animals that are not what they seem and discovers the true magic of faith in himself. And Joe too must survive the gauntlet of trials blocking his path to freedom.
Karen uses such lyrical names and dialogue mixed with prose that roll off the tongue like beautiful songs rich with life affirming properties. Switch is a 5 Star adventure of epic proportions for all ages and had this reader desperate for the next expedition into the interior.