Girl on a Plane, Miriam Moss: Book Review

Based on a true story about a hijacking.

Girl on a Plane Miriam Moss Book ReviewAnderson / Miriam Moss
Girl on a Plane Book Cover Girl on a Plane
Miriam Moss
Young Adult
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
September 12, 2017

Jordan, 1970.

After a summer spent with her family, fifteen-year-old Anna is traveling back to her English boarding school alone. But her plane never makes it home.

Anna’s flight is hijacked by Palestinian guerillas. They land the plane in the Jordanian desert, switch off the engines and issue their demands. If these are not met within three days, they will blow up the plane, killing all the hostages.

The heat on board becomes unbearable; food and water supplies dwindle. Anna begins to face the possibility she may never see her family again.

Time is running out . . .

Based on true events, this is a story about ordinary people facing agonizing horror, of courage and resilience.

This review contains quotes from the book.

*Special thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for allowing us to read Miriam Moss’ Girl on a Plane.

Miriam MossGirl on a Plane is one intense ride that you won’t want to miss.

The book is set in Jordan in 1970. Anna is on her way back to her English boarding school, but her plane never makes it there. Palestinian guerrillas have hijacked the plane she is on. The guerrillas land the plane in the Jordanian desert, and immediately start making demands. They have three days to meet their demands or else they will blow up the plane with everyone inside.

“A deep Arab voice takes over. ‘Your captain says he is sorry! But we are not sorry! We are the PFLP. We are trying to free Palestine!’ There’s a pause.

The captain returns, talking slowly, as if speaking to foreigners. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you’re all all right. I have been asked to tell you that we have a hijacker in the cockpit as well as the one in the cabin. They’re insisting we fly to Beirut to refuel, then to their Revolutionary Airstrip in the Jordanian desert.’ He pauses. ‘It’s very important that we all stay calm and obey these people. So please stay in your seats. It’ll take about an hour to get to Beirut. I’ll keep you informed of developments, I promise, as soon as I know more. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I repeat, please stay calm. I’ll speak to you again shortly.‘”

-excerpt from Miriam Moss’ Girl on a Plane

On top of all this, the heat becomes insufferable, and the food and water supplies are going away quickly. Anna starts to realize that she may never make it home to see her family again.

This story is based on Moss’ own experience being hijacked by terrorists.

This book is just wow. Girl on a Plane gave me chills because of how afraid I was for all of the passengers. The details of how Anna spent those days being trapped with strangers, and not knowing if she was going to live or die were intense. You can tell that Moss had the first-hand experience as a hostage because of the details she uses. Moss does an excellent job of recounting the events of her hijacking and being able to write a fictional novel about it.

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Jessica Duffield
the authorJessica Duffield
Contributing Writer
I am a sophomore in college. Books are my passion and I hope to work in book publishing once I graduate.