Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy

Do Not Become Alarmed is a fast paced novel about every parent’s worst nightmare- losing your children. During a short trip ashore in Central America while on a cruise, six children are separated from their parents. That alone would be enough for a great story, but this book also tackles race, gender and poverty blending it all together beautifully.

Told in alternating chapters, the perspective switches between the adults and the children. As the story goes on it is the children, those we would naturally think of as weak, who find the strength to take care of each other. The parents are another story. They begin to unravel chapter by chapter, blaming themselves and each other.

My favorite part of the book happens while one father is leaving Central America and couldn’t help but be reminded of the Vietnam Airlift. He thinks to himself, “Didn’t Americans always manage to save themselves?” I really enjoyed this book. I hope you do too.

~ Leslie W.