Maddie Chase will be celebrating her birthday-that-never-was in Papua New Guinea with her Aunt Sid, who is there on a journalist assignment. Maddie is a journalist major at her college and her Aunt Sid wants to help her with her dreams. Papua New Guinea sounds a lot scarier than Ireland did (she accompanied her Aunt Sid there previously) but Maddie is convinced she can handle it.
The trip there is memorable. Her Aunt Sid surprises her with a couple nights stay in Hawaii before they go to Papua New Guinea. There they enjoy the surf and sun, and also do further research on how unsafe Papua New Guinea is for Americansespecially for women. Not to mention, the aids epidemic there is at epidemic proportions. Will Maddie be able to reach out to the island people?
Notes from a Spinning PlanetPapua New Guinea is written in first person, but is more telling than showing. At times it feels like its a big information dump from all the research Ms. Carlson did on Papua New Guinea, and it removed any life from the story. Still, it is interesting reading about a foreign country and about the aids epidemic there and how missionaries and other health professionals are trying to reach the people. I was interested to see what direction Aunt Sids article about the country would take, since her boss didnt give her a specific angle to cover.
The faith message is woven in and isnt preachy. The setting is expertly described, including the varying colors of the sea. If it werent for the flat characters, this book would be excellent. Nevertheless, if you want to learn about a different culture and the problems plaguing it, Notes from a Spinning PlanetPapua New Guinea is good to read. Great for homeschooled students for their geography and social studies classes. I would like to read the previous title: Notes from a Spinning PlanetIreland, and the upcoming title: Notes from a Spinning PlanetMexico. $12.99. 231 pages.