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NO PASSENGERS BEYOND THIS POINT by Gennifer Choldenko

NO PASSENGERS BEYOND THIS POINT

By Gennifer Choldenko

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3534-7
Publisher: Dial

An odd juxtaposition of contemporary reality and surreal fantasy from Newbery Honoree Choldenko. Surly India, worrywart Finn and smartypants Mouse are shipped off to Colorado to live with their uncle after their family home is lost to foreclosure. But too soon after take-off, their plane lands in a strange town named Falling Bird, where they are greeted like long-lost heroes and whisked off to three separate homes, each fully loaded with their heart’s desires. Each child is given a clock that is counting down and told that when the time is up, a decision must be made to leave or stay. But leave or stay where? Colorado? Oz? Or somewhere else entirely? As always, the author shines in her characterization of children and their idiosyncratic kidspeak. Each sibling takes a turn in the narration, giving readers front-row seats to their psyches. But the convoluted mystery of Falling Bird isn’t revealed until the very last pages, and by then some young readers may have lost interest in trying to interpret a Kafka-esque world with too few clues and a confusing host of secondary characters. Fascinating, if not entirely successful. (Fantasy. 10-14)