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THE BEAST OF NOOR

A creature called the Shriker has lured helpless victims to their gruesome deaths in Shalem Wood for centuries. Miles and Hanna Ferrell learn that it was their own ancestor who was responsible for the creation of the beast and his anger and taste for blood. When their friend becomes the most recent victim, Miles is determined to kill the beast and right the wrong, before his sister is taken next. It isn’t long before Hanna goes in search of her missing brother, to save him from becoming the very beast he has set out to destroy. Moving between parallel dimensions, leaving behind their friends and family, these two youngsters must prove themselves capable of surviving danger, making the right choices and always staying true to their inner selves and to each other. An engaging tale, with just the right touch of terror to make a good story, it thankfully avoids devolving into an unnecessarily gruesome gore-fest. A hefty but not tiresome read, this will leave the reader anxious to turn just a few more pages before turning out the light. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-689-87644-0

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2006

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ASK ME NO QUESTIONS

Illegal immigrant sisters learn a lot about themselves when their family faces deportation in this compelling contemporary drama. Immigrants from Bangladesh, Nadira, her older sister Aisha and their parents live in New York City with expired visas. Fourteen-year-old Nadira describes herself as “the slow-wit second-born” who follows Aisha, the family star who’s on track for class valedictorian and a top-rate college. Everything changes when post-9/11 government crack-downs on Muslim immigrants push the family to seek asylum in Canada where they are turned away at the border and their father is arrested by U.S. immigration. The sisters return to New York living in constant fear of detection and trying to pretend everything is normal. As months pass, Aisha falls apart while Nadira uses her head in “a right way” to save her father and her family. Nadira’s need for acceptance by her family neatly parallels the family’s desire for acceptance in their adopted country. A perceptive peek into the lives of foreigners on the fringe. (endnote) (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-4169-0351-8

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Ginee Seo/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2005

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WHAT THE MOON SAW

When Clara Luna, 14, visits rural Mexico for the summer to visit the paternal grandparents she has never met, she cannot know her trip will involve an emotional and spiritual journey into her family’s past and a deep connection to a rich heritage of which she was barely aware. Long estranged from his parents, Clara’s father had entered the U.S. illegally years before, subsequently becoming a successful business owner who never spoke about what he left behind. Clara’s journey into her grandmother’s history (told in alternating chapters with Clara’s own first-person narrative) and her discovery that she, like her grandmother and ancestors, has a gift for healing, awakens her to the simple, mystical joys of a rural lifestyle she comes to love and wholly embrace. Painfully aware of not fitting into suburban teen life in her native Maryland, Clara awakens to feeling alive in Mexico and realizes a sweet first love with Pedro, a charming goat herder. Beautifully written, this is filled with evocative language that is rich in imagery and nuance and speaks to the connections that bind us all. Add a thrilling adventure and all the makings of an entrancing read are here. (glossaries) (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2006

ISBN: 0-385-73343-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2006

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