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Jungle Crossing

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  50 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Kat can think of dozens of good reasons not to go on a boring family vacation to hot, grungy Mexico. Number one: missing her friend Fiona's minicamp. If she's not there, she'll begin eighth grade as a social reject.

     Despite her reluctance, Kat ends up on a teen adventure tour where she meets Nando, a young Mayan guide (who happens to be quite a cutie). As they travel t
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 28th 2009 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Instead of cementing her status with the popular group over the summer, 13-year-old Kat has to go on a family vacation to Mexico. She spends her time complaining about being there and worrying about losing her place with the girls back home. Even though there really are girls like this, Kat’s constant whining is tiresome and makes her an annoying self-absorbed character. A tour guide tells an adventure story about a Mayan girl, but the story-within-a-story doesn’t inject enough excitement. The c ...more
May 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stephanie by: Goodread's Giveaways
Shelves: first-reads
...“The gods wanted to create creatures who would worship them. First they made the animals, but they couldn’t talk. Then the gods created people out of mud, but when it rained, they fell apart. Then the gods created people out of wood, but they had no feelings, so the gods washed them away in a big flood. Finally, the gods created people out of corn, and they turned out just right.”...

Sydney Salter’s juvenile fiction, Jungle Crossing, is a classic tale of a girl coming of age. Kat, a thirteen-y
Aug 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-vine
Thirteen-year-old Kat has dozens of reasons to skip her family's summer vacation to hot, boring Mexico. She'll miss mini-camp and lose her spot as part of Fiona's Five (reason number 1) thereby completing ruining her chance at popularity and eighth grade in general (reason 33). Her family will drive her crazy (reasons 29 through 31). And don't think that's just whining because Kat has tons of other, totally logical, reasons on her list including falling prey to bandits, the risk of flash floodin ...more
Aug 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Sydney Salter’s JUNGLE CROSSING is a story within a story; a richly told ancient Mayan legend tucked within a modern (yet reluctantly embarked upon!) Mexican cultural adventure.

Thirteen-year-old Kat is so full of attitude that I found myself thrown right back to my own stupid, embarrassing junior high times when I wanted nothing more than to be somewhere else — *anywhere* else — away from whatever forced family fun my parents had cooked up. I could totally relate to her — the clueless but well-
Jennifer Wardrip
Jul 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Marta Morrison for

Kat is very upset. Her family has decided to take a vacation to Mexico right during her best friend, Fiona's, mini-camp. This is social suicide in her junior high.

How Kat wants to stay home - but that is not to be.

She makes her family suffer with her comments and attitude. Once there, Kat and her little sister join a teen tour. She meets Nando, who is Mayan, and he tells them a story about a Mayan princess named Muluc. Muluc was abducted from her ho
Nov 27, 2012 rated it liked it
This enjoyable middle school read is by the author Sydney Salter, a local author. We were fortunate enough to have Sydney come to our school to speak to our 8th grade students about being an author and writing. She told the students that many of the books she writes are based on her journals from when she was a teenager. This particular story is inspired by a trip she had to the Mayan ruins when she was a child. Kat, the girl in the story, is thirteen when she goes to Mexico with her family. Of ...more
C. Lee McKenzie
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
She doesn't want anything to do with her family's vacation. After all she'll miss the in-crowd's summer gathering and be more of an outsider when she returns for her eighth year in school. The problem is Mom's not going to let Katherine miss Cancun and that's when she discovers so much more than she'd ever expected. More about herself, more about her family and more about the rich culture she's been privileged to experience.

I loved this MG story with it's humorous moments followed always by some
Oct 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This book was a really quick read. It is the story of an American girl, Kat, forced by her parents on vacation to the Yucatan penisula instead spending time with her BFFs at mini-camp. Her adventures throughout the week are intertwined with the story of a Mayan girl on her own journey. By the end of the book, Kat has learned a lot about herself, the meaning of friendship, and a different culture. I wish their had been a little more romance, but considering the fact that our herione in only thirt ...more
Laura (Madsen) McLain
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, 2012
Great middle-grade, girl-oriented, adventure story.

Kat is a 13-year-old girl being dragged along on her family's Mexican vacation when she would rather be hanging out with her friends and improving her popularity index. Despite herself, she begins to enjoy the vacation and makes friends. There is a story-within-a-story featuring a privileged Mayan girl named Muluc. As Kat learns Muluc's story she realizes that while her popular friends back home may not be sacrificing people in the ancient Mayan
Megan Anderson
I like the vivid descriptions, and I lovelovelove the myth...but I can't stand the rest of the story! I wanted to strangle all the other characters. Even though Kat, the main character, changes throughout the story, she still felt one-dimensional and bratty at the end. The other characters, at least of the "present-day" characters, felt similarly flat.

I'd recommend it for the information about the Maya and the descriptions, but nothing else.

3/5 on here, 6/10 for myself (and only ranked that high
Debbie Cranberry Fries
What a fun look at the Mayan culture! This book follows young Kat when her family travels to Mexico and she and her sister get a bit more of the tour then they had planned. They make friends with the locals and really get to experience the culture of the area. I thought Sydney captured the voice and age of Kat very well! I really enjoy her other book My Big Nose and heard she has another one, Swoon at your own Risk coming out soon. Love her writing!
Shannon Baas
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book. I love books about history and it is somewhat a historical book. It is about Kat, who is a young teenager who is on a trip to Mexico with her family. She is hating it and wishes she wasn't forced to go on a tour with her little sister. One of the guides tells them a story about the ancient Mayans which intrigues Kat and makes her rethink her thoughts on the trip and life in general. I would recommend this book.
Mel Raschke
Kat the main character has to go on a "force" vacation with her family. She doesn't want to go because she will miss mini camp with her middle school friends. She discovers history about Mexico, new friends and renewed family relationships. Looks like elementary but definitely this is a middle school book.
May 17, 2009 added it
JUNGLE CROSSING is two books in one – and both stories are really good; they are *very* different from one another but complement each other well. Each one is compelling, and perfect for the middle school reader (and others too). And resulted in my immediate (at the story's close) googling for more info about the Mayan culture and history. Highly recommend giving this to middle school readers.
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really liked the dual stories and how the Mayan myth affected the American tourists.
Sydney captures the preteen/teenage angst of wanting to fit in, but also needing to be true to yourself. It's sometimes uncomfortable to read,as she so aptly portrays this young main character's emotional ride.
Will definitely share this book with my own daughter in a few years.
Sep 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Wow, so I definitely didn't write a review for this when I got it 5 years ago, but I do remember that it was an enjoyable read that was perfect for a middle-school crowd.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
Jul 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-graders
Cute middle grade book, but I wish there had been a little more explanation of her realizations about her friends. Really loved the Mayan story that was intertwined.
It's a class of 2K9 book!
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
cute story for middle schoolers
Mar 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, childrens
I liked the combination of the ancient adventure story with the day to day happenings of the vacation. The story line was really fun, and the characters were great!
Oct 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Loved the myth. I wanted Kat to come to some sense way sooner, but she must have been a stubborn teenager?? Enjoyable read.
Britt, Book Habitue
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very realistic teenage voice-- of course the problem with that is she's an OBNOXIOUS teenager. I honestly just can't relate to that drive to be in the "in crowd", but overall I liked the book.
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Jul 22, 2009
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May 23, 2012
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Feb 26, 2012
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“You don't have anything to lose by standing up for yourself,' Nando said. 'But you can lose yourself by trying to please everyone.” 8 likes
“The gods wanted to create creatures who would worship them. First they made the animals, but they couldn’t talk. Then the gods created people out of mud, but when it rained, they fell apart. Then the gods created people out of wood, but they had no feelings, so the gods washed them away in a big flood. Finally, the gods created people out of corn, and they turned out just right.” 1 likes
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