THE CHAIN LETTER by Julie Schumacher


Age Range: 9 - 12
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Do we make our own luck, good or bad? A serious question underlies this entertaining friendship story. When Livvie and Joyce don’t follow the explicit instructions of the chain letter they each receive, a string of bad luck follows, culminating in a suspenseful episode inside a gigantic snow labyrinth constructed by their fellow St. Paul, Minn., sixth-graders. The strength of the friendship between superstitious, obsessive Joyce and pragmatic, somewhat impulsive Livvie is clear. Quirky and sympathetic adults support the two girls without taking away from the sixth-grade focus. A stalker and a forbidden room provide mystery; family issues—Livvie doesn’t want her mom dating her friend Peter’s dad—form an important subplot. Winter in St. Paul is convincingly cold. There is much humor in the details, especially in the description of Peter’s dad’s car, first decorated with doll heads and later with a gigantic bird in a cage. A lively, enjoyable read. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 8th, 2005
ISBN: 0-385-73169-8
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2005


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