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3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  340 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
Fifteen-year-old Jake Knight is an explorer and adventurer at heart but this often gets him into trouble. When a stuffy English boarding school suspends him for rule-breaking, Jake flies out to Burkina Faso where his parents are living. He is expecting a long, adventure-filled vacation under a smiling African sun. But what awaits him there is kidnapping, terrorism and Yaku ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 5th 2011 by Andersen (first published January 1st 2011)
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Outlaw by Stephen     DaviesThe Viper Tree by Joseph MonningerOf Water and the Spirit by Malidoma Patrice SoméRitual by Malidoma Patrice SoméThe Parachute Drop by Norbert Zongo
Books Set in Burkina Faso
1st out of 16 books — 3 voters
The Masked Truth by Kelley ArmstrongBlack Ice by Becca FitzpatrickOutlaw by Stephen     DaviesTaken by David   MasseyThe Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab
TBPL YA Hostages Booklist
3rd out of 7 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 816)
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Nancy Reinking
Aug 28, 2013 Nancy Reinking rated it really liked it
This book is a great read for the YAL crowd. International intrigue, Indiana Jones style, written to enlighten others to the plight of those who live in corrupt political systems. Heroes and villains clash using the latest technology. There is some violence in this story, but it is important to the plot development and provides a realistic viewpoint to life in the real world.
Sep 07, 2012 Ruth rated it really liked it
A modern day Robin Hood with technology. Set in Burkino Fasa, this fast paced story tells of corruption in the country. Two teenagers of the British Ambassador soon become involved but who can they trust? I like the descriptions of Africa from the author who lives in the area.
Aubrey Hinchman
Apr 25, 2014 Aubrey Hinchman rated it really liked it
When I read this for Clash of theTitles, I didn't expect to enjoy it. At first, I didn't like Jake's sister, and felt like Jake was ignorant, but over time, I grew fond of him. His ability to climb/jump over walls I found unique. The kidnapping was kind of low key, and I don't think that it WAS really Stockholm Syndrome affecting them (otherwise I wouldn't have read it). Yakkuba Sor reminded me of Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. In fact, him using a slingshot also made ...more
Ms. Yingling
Feb 20, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Davies, Stephen. Outlaw.
Jake is not unhappy at his posh British boarding school, but life is BORING there. He and his friends have a game of Geothimble going, where they steal an object from someone else, hide it, and that person has to use GPS technology to get it. While playing this game, Jake ends up walking over a wall into a prison, and then gets kicked out of school. He ends up with his ambassador father in Burkina Faso, which is better than being at school. At a fancy dinner one night, he
Kay Mcgriff
Oct 12, 2013 Kay Mcgriff rated it it was amazing
Now that I am teaching 7th grade (where Social Studies explores world geography and civilizations), I am on the lookout for books that take readers to other times and places that connect to their curriculum. I have found an action-packed adventure with Outlaw by Stephen Davies. This thriller explodes with desperate outlaws, high-tech surveillance, high-speed chases, and murderous double-crossers.

Jake Knight longs to live a life filled with adventure, but he has to create his own excitement at hi
Suspended from his British boarding school for geothimbling, fifteen-year-old Jake is sent to join his parents in Burkina Faso where he anticipates much adventure. Unsurprisingly, adventure finds him and his sister Kas when they are kidnapped by a couple of men trying to blame the kidnapping on Yakuuba Sor, a master of disguise considered by some to be a terrorist and by others to be a hero of the common folks. The action in the book is fast paced with something exciting happening in just about ...more
Aug 02, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, realistic-fiction
Jake is the son of a British ambassador to Burkina Faso. After getting suspended from boarding school for his boredom reducing activities, he gets more action than he bargained for when he meets up with his family in Africa. He and his sister, Kas, are kidnapped by one of the most feared terrorists in the entire country. Together they must try to survive in the desert while dealing with politics and customs they are unfamiliar with.

The Chameleon is an African teen who is disgusted by the greed a
Mark Barsalona
Nov 28, 2012 Mark Barsalona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1. The book outlaw is about this kid Jake knight who he and his sister get kidnapped by this man named the chameleon the two are children of a British ambassador the chameleon is sort of a robin hood but blames this other vigilante named Yakuuba Sor for it so the chameleon can cross the Sahara

2. This book was very captivating and I liked it very much it kept me wanting to read I liked that they didnt make the main character seem all skillful at escaping and was like james bond he just sat there
Nov 04, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
Jake Knight, a fifteen year old, is suspended from boarding school after an escapade which caused him to break into a prison. Unfortunately he could not break out so he was caught. He waqs supposed to find his geography project that had been planted in Leeds prison awaiting recovery by other members in this secret adventure club. As a result of his suspension, his parents would be notified and he would be joining his parents and sister in Burkina Faso.

Jake's father was an ambassador in Ouagadoug
Oct 30, 2012 Luisa rated it really liked it
When Jake is expelled from his British private school for playing geo-thimble which prompts him to be out in the middle of the night jumping the walls of a prison, he’s sent to his family in Burkina Faso, a landlocked African country on the southwest border of the Sahara where his father serves as the British ambassador. In an attempt to rescue his sister from being kidnapped, Jake is abducted as well. Technological marvels including Jake's cell phone as well as a simple trail of wrappers could ...more
May 03, 2015 Ruben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: awty-grade-7
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 25, 2012 Christina rated it really liked it
Another fun ride of a book, with a lot of current world affairs details and situations to make it more realistic. When fifteen year old Jake is suspended from school and sent back to live with his parents and younger teen sister, he's not going home to a boring suburb: his dad's the British Ambassador to Burkina Faso, in Africa! Jake and his sister are fluent in French and other languages, and love the multicultural craziness of this country; Jake feels at home riding his father's motorcycle pas ...more
Dec 10, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jake hates the boring restrictiveness of his rigid boarding school, so when he gets suspended for the last six weeks of the term--for sneaking out at night to play a geocaching game he and his friends have invented--he's looking forward to the extra free time and a bit of adventure. Particularly since he'll be spending the time in the sunny, wild, teeming capital of African nation Burkina Faso, where is dad is the British ambassador. Except Jake learns true adventure isn't all that fun after he ...more
Wyatt Jones
Oct 09, 2015 Wyatt Jones rated it really liked it
While reading Outlaw, I was on the edge of my seat. Jake Knight has an adventurous soul and loves to explore. But one day he's caught roaming outside the vicinity, the officials then send him off to Burkina Faso where his parents are living. What Jake thinks is going to be a nice adventure journey under the African sun, turns out to be a world filled with terrorism, kidnapping and other crimes. And he has to deal with Yakuuba Sor - the most wanted outlaw in the Sahara desert!
Maeve Gilbert
Mar 12, 2014 Maeve Gilbert rated it liked it
Outlaw was a great book about Jake Knight, a fifteen year old boy who loves adventure so when he has to fly back to where the rest of his family lives in Burkina Faso, he is expecting an adventure. In a way he does, just maybe not in the way he expected it. This was a wonderful adventure book with a boy who realizes that maybe the most wanted outlaw there may be more helpful than he thought.
Jun 18, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once you get past the terrible, and terribly deceptive cover, and the alternating voice narrative setup, this book really picks up. When the story lines of Jake and the outlaw come together the story changes into something more than each alone could tell. I wish Kirsty, or Kas as she is called, Jake's sister, had more of a part than whining about the injustice. She would have been the more likely character to embark on an adventure based on her being upset about the privileges the family indulge ...more
Libby Ames
Jake Knight has lived a privileged life as the son of a British ambassador. He longs for adventure, but when he and his sister are kidnapped by an African outlaw, he gets more adventure than he ever wanted. Soon, his life is consumed by violence, terrorism, and a desperate race for survival. As Jake travels through the African dessert and small villages he learns about his personal strength while also recognizing the great need of others around him.

Outlaw is a fast-paced adventure story filled w
4.5 stars (I suspect my younger two boys, who both read it around age 11, would give it at least 5).

This is a great adventure story for middle grades and teens. It tells the story of Jake and his sister Kirsty (aka Kas), children of the British ambassador, who get kidnapped in a plot to undermine Yakuuba Sor. As they travel back to the capital, they struggle to determine who are the "good guys", the "bad guys", and those worthy of trust.

The author works in development in Burkina Faso and portra
Mrs. Ehlers
Jan 22, 2016 Mrs. Ehlers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jake and his sister Kas have been kidnapped. They find themselves blindfolded, riding horses, leaving trails of paper, and trying to survive in the desert. The story takes place in Africa and it would be helpful to read the pronunciation guide on page 289 before hand (I wish I had).
Mar 10, 2016 Bailey rated it liked it
Outlaw by Stephen Davies was a subtle approach on terrorism, bringing it's point across without racism or stereotypes. It was fast-paced and action packed, with no dull moments. However, it is very strategical at times, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you like. Overall, I think this book had a great way of saying "Don't judge a person until you get to know them."
Mrs. Schatz
Jun 21, 2013 Mrs. Schatz rated it really liked it
Excellent adventure reminiscent of James Bond/Indiana Jones/Robin Hood. Set in Burkina Faso in Africa which makes it set out. Jake matured in to a fine young man. The cover is misleading. I kept wondering how skateboarding fit into kidnapping and the rescue throughout most of the book. Turns out that the young man on the cover is scaling a very tall wall just like Jake in the book. I believe the cover needs to be different because I would not have read this title based on the cover, which I do. ...more
Jun 15, 2014 Emily rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic modern adventure story! Set in the cities and desert villages of Burkina Faso, it follows two British teenagers as they learn what life is really like in modern Africa.
Jake isn’t too upset when he gets suspended from his English boarding school. It mostly means he gets to spend some extra time with his family in Africa, where his father is an ambassador and have some adventures in the sun. The adventure part of that becomes all too real when his second night home, he and his sister are kidnapped by the notorious outlaw, Yakuuba Sor. Jake and Kas are both strong and brave and Jake is able to use his parkour skills to help aid in their escape.

Good for teens and
Sarah Rosenberger
When the children of the British Ambassador to Burkina Faso are kidnapped, an African Robin Hood-type character called the Chameleon is falsely accused and has to try to get them safely home in order to clear his name.

There's no character development, just action, more action, and techno talk but the mentions of injustices like the practices of European mining companies might make readers interested in learning more. Guys who like Anthony Horowitz or Andrew Klavan might like it.
Barton Hills Sixth Grade
May 28, 2014 Barton Hills Sixth Grade rated it really liked it
great story there are some cool plot twists a great plot about a ambassadors son in a subaharin contry that is kid naped by an outlaw
Mary Ann
This was a good adventure, full of information about Burkina Faso (which I knew absolutely nothing about) and the state of some of the African countries that deal with corrupt officials and groups who pirate and kidnap. Jake and his sister Kirsty are the children of the American ambassador, and soon they are at the mercy of the most notorious outlaw in the country. But things are not exactly as they seem in this dangerous turn of events. Good plotting, lots of twists and turns, lots to learn. I ...more
Mar 07, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
This was a fast-paced thriller that would appeal to adventure lovers. After Jake and his sister, Kas, are kidnapped in Burkina Faso they meet a teenage outlaw Yakuuba Sor. Yakuuba Sor has a reputation among authorities as a terrorist, but among those he helps, he's more of a Robin Hood character. The story has elements of the James Bond and Indiana Jones franchises. This will be a go-to book for readers looking for adventure stories or thrillers, for young precocious readers who have exhausted t ...more
Oct 10, 2015 Madeline rated it really liked it
I loved the constant stream of foreign language and proverbs which made the story that much more realistic.
Mar 15, 2012 Spark740 rated it really liked it
This was a clean, exciting, and realistic read. I don't have anything bad to say about it; sure, you have your stereotypical main character, but compared to all the feminist junk out there these days? I appreciated having your typical hero guy, actually. The different languages and cultures and proverbs expressed in the book were great, because with the author's background and end notes, the plot was believable. I loved all the different stunts and was always guessing at what Sor was going to do ...more
Apr 04, 2013 Esther rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, africa
Better than Hacking Timbuktu , in my opinion. Still the tight, fast-paced plotting, and I didn't notice any critical "loose ends" in the story-telling. The various teenagers all employ the tools commonly at their fingertips to get rid of "the bad guys" (their kidnappers) but because the characters come from the UK and Burkina Faso, the tools they have to work with are quite eclectic and suspense-inducing. Slingshots and cell phones all become "clever" in this tale that asks the question of what ...more
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