A Girl Named Disaster – by Nancy Farmer
In 1981 Nhamo a virtual slave in her village in Africa runs away before her 12th birthday to escape child marriage. She was betrothed to a cruel husband and ends up spending a year moving from Zimbabwe to Mozambique.
Her journey shows her tenacity as her journey on the river in a stolen boat is swept into the heart of a great lake. She ends up having to battle drowning, wild animals and starvation.