I have to admit I'm not sure if I would have paid much attention to this book if I'd just seen it on the shelf. The cover and title just seem to hint at a rather simple story. Not sure why I thought that, but I did. However, this book was recommended by Stephenie Meyer (author of the Twilight series) on her website. The last book Ms. Meyer recommended on her site was The Hunger Games which I absolutely adored and for which I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel. Meyer described this book as "the oddest/sweetest mix of Little House oh the Prairie and X-Men." I found this to be a very true description of the book, although I also was reminded of Harry Potter and The Golden Compass at certain parts as well.
This is a particularly difficult book to describe without giving away the entire plot, but I will say that it is equal parts joy and sadness - filled with people who you're never sure if you should trust or if they are about to turn around and betray everyone. At only 328 pages I found myself wishing it was longer, so the individual characters could be more fleshed-out. I also felt like I had to remind myself frequently that the main characters were supposed to be young - the oldest being 11. Seemed to me liked they behaved in a way that was much older than that a lot of the time. I had a hard time not picturing them as 15- and 16-year olds. I actual think it would be interesting if the author did a sequel to this book when the charcters were that age.