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STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

SCARS book cover

Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself--before it's too late.

Awards: #1 in the Top 10 ALA Quick Picks, ALA's Rainbow List, a Governor General Literary Award Finalist, Staff Pick for Teaching Tolerance.

Yes, it's my own arm on the cover of SCARS.

HUNTED book cover

Caitlyn, a telepath in a world where having any paranormal power at all can kill her, must decide between saving herself or saving the world.

Awards: A finalist for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award.

PARALLEL VISIONS book cover

Kate sees visions of the future--but only when she has an asthma attack. When she "sees" her sister being beaten, and a schoolmate killing herself, Kate must trigger more attacks--but that could kill her.

Awards: 2013 Gold Winner, Wise Bear Digital Awards, YA Paranormal category.

STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

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Teen Books That Have Something to Say


Corbenic

Review

Corbenic
by Catherine Fisher
Red Fox/Random House,(2002)
ISBN-10: 0099438488

My rating:



Jerked out of a doze, Cal opened his eyes. Then he tugged the earphones off and rubbed his face wearily. The woman who had been sitting next to him must have gotten off at the last station; now her seat was empty. A man in a uniform was wheeling a trolley down the aisle of the train; it was crammed with crisps and sandwiches and piles of upturned plastic cups round the shiny urn. The man caught Cal's eye. 'Drinks? Tea? Coffee?'
It would be embarrassing to say no so he muttered, 'Tea,' knowing it would be the cheapest thing. Then he dragged some coins out of his pocket and sorted through them, trying to look careless, as if money didn't matter.
--Corbenic, Catherine Fisher, p. 1.

Teen-aged Cal is ashamed of and deeply angry with his alcoholic, abusive mother who sometimes hears things other people don't. In an attempt to escape the sadness, poverty, and pain of his two-person family, Cal takes a train ride to his unaffectionate uncle, who has offered him a place to stay and a job. However, hungry, tired, and confused from the long ride, Cal gets off at the wrong train stop—and is forced to stay at an expensive hotel and dine with rich guests, including a pain-filled man named Bron. During the dinner, Cal experiences a vision, and, worried that he is becoming psychotic like his mother, he refuses to acknowledge what he has seen to Bron. When he wakes up the next morning, the expensive, bustling castle has turned into an empty ruin, and Cal begins a long journey trying to find that castle and those people again. Along the way, he meets other people who are attempting to do the same thing.

That journey is a magical and emotional one, where the past world is woven here and there into Cal's present, and he is confronted, over and over, with the past and the need to make things right. Through Cal's struggle, he finally finds what he's looking for—but it's not without cost. This is the best kind of fantasy—one that speaks to the reader on many levels. The story is a modern interpretation of the Grail Legend, but you don't need to know anything about King Arthur to enjoy and fall in love with this great book.

This is a gripping, exciting read. The characters are believable and well-rounded, there is a strong sense of setting and time, and there is an emotional depth to this story that will leave readers satisfied. Cal's mothers' apparent craziness is woven expertly into the story, as is the slow unfolding of the truth. Cal especially is a character that readers will come to know like a friend, through his shared emotions, memories, and desires. His reactions and attempts to deal with the affects of poverty and abuse are very believable, as are his desires to escape those things and find a place to belong. Pain is balanced well with healing, as is magic with the everyday world. Masterful, talented writing and a great understanding of emotion and plot make this book a winner. This is a story that will stay with you a long time.

-Added August 26, 2003


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