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STREAMS OF BABEL by Carol Plum-Ucci Kirkus Star


by Carol Plum-Ucci

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-15-216556-7
Publisher: Harcourt

It’s February, 2002, in Trinity Falls, N.J., a sleepy little suburban town south of New York City. The impact of 9/11 ripples throughout the world, but teenagers here are still wrapped up in standard high-school issues: Who’s going to be my date? Will I win my next wrestling match? Will I ever be accepted? Then two women die, on the same block, of the same mysterious symptoms. Why? Is it a new flu? Or something even more deadly? Half a world away, a computer prodigy stumbles across clues hidden in Internet chatter, and the need to solve the puzzle leads to a pulse-pounding showdown. This is a story about the threat of bioterrorism as seen through the eyes of the generation that will grow up with it as a reality, not just as a fictional bogeyman. The teens are the focus here, all excellent character studies drawn adeptly with few words. The swift pace grabs the reader right from the start, with a page-turning intensity. Plum-Ucci takes the incredible and makes it all too believable. (Fiction. YA)