Despite a few small hiccups, this is an engaging read that should satisfy its young adult audience.

READ REVIEW

FARSIGHTED

The blind will see the future in Chand’s debut young-adult novel.

High school is a miserable place for young Alex Kosmitoras as he struggles to fit in. While the teenage years are tough for most people, Alex faces the additional challenge of being born blind and he is often the butt of jokes and the target of bullies. Alex’s home life proves difficult as well, and he is constantly at odds with his distant, impatient father. As if that weren’t enough, Alex begins to experience visions, mentally seeing events that haven’t yet occurred. Although these prophecies are an unsettling, confusing revelation, Alex’s year takes a turn for the better when he befriends Simmi, the new girl in town, and connects with the physic-next-door, Miss Teak, and her daughter, Shapri. With their guidance, Alex explores his newfound “gift” of second sight. And he needs all the help he can get, as his visions soon reveal that Simmi is in great danger; in the middle of lunch, Alex sees Simmi “choking, gasping for air, clawing frantically at her throat” and then dying in his arms. As the visions of her death continue, it becomes imperative that Alex learn to control and channel his physic revelations in order to identify the threat, protect Simmi and avert this deadly future. In spite of a slow start, Chand’s story quickly picks up steam as Alex, Simmi and Miss Teak work together to locate the mysterious character that threatens Simmi’s life. The mystery is intriguing and, with a few exceptions, Chand’s characters are compelling and diverse. Shapri is a standout, as she struggles against her own potential psychic gifts and wavers between feelings of love and annoyance for Alex. Chand also presents runes and prophecies at the beginning of each chapter, and though some readers may utilize these clues to make predictions, the concept doesn’t augment the excitement or mystery.

Despite a few small hiccups, this is an engaging read that should satisfy its young adult audience.

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2011

ISBN: 978-0983930808

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Blue Crown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2012

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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