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JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta Kirkus Star

JELLICOE ROAD

By Melina Marchetta

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-143183-8
Publisher: HarperTeen

Just when Taylor’s only guardian, Hannah, disappears from the Jellicoe School campus, she must lead her classmates in secret war games against neighboring locals (Townies) and a camp of military kids (Cadets). While the gripping boundary battles among the three factions raise the reader’s pulse, Taylor’s search for Hannah and her relationship with Jonah, the stoic cadet commander, charge the story with unwavering intrigue. Taylor reads Hannah’s autobiographical manuscript for clues and finds surprising links to her own life: Jellicoe students, cadets, war games and even Taylor’s long-absent, drug-addicted mother all surface in the book, which recounts events 22 years old. Marchetta plows into a complicated story line head first, shifting between Hannah’s narrative and Taylor’s trials as Jellicoe School’s war commander. Time flashes forward and back, histories bleed together and two generations of friends bear uncanny resemblances to one another. Readers may feel dizzied and disoriented, but as they puzzle out exactly how Hannah’s narrative connects with Taylor’s current reality, they will find themselves ensnared in the story’s fascinating, intricate structure. A beautifully rendered mystery. (Fiction. 14 & up)