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Shades of London #01: The Name of the Starby Maureen Johnson
Synopses & Reviews
For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country--that's how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode--and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can't ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to navigate the world around her, she is surprised by how much she finds herself caring about near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student and war vet. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies begin to pile up, Cleo can't help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?
Riveting and well-researched, A Death-Struck Year is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history. Readers will be captured by the suspenseful storytelling and the lingering questions of: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?
An afterword explains the Spanish flu phenomenon, placing it within the historical context of the early 20th century. Source notes are extensive and interesting.
A Spring 2014 Indies Introduce New Voices selection
A deadly pandemic, a budding romance, and the heartache of loss make for a stunning coming-of-age YA debut about the struggle to survive during the 1918 flu.
Grade 9 Up–Johnson begins this exceptional novel in a lightweight fashion but quickly segues into more serious issues that affect the three young women who make up the Bermudez Triangle. It is the summer before their senior year in Saratoga Springs, NY. At first, organized, serious Nina has trouble adjusting to her leadership workshop at Stanford University. Although she desperately misses Avery and Mel, who are waitresses at a restaurant back home, she quickly falls head over heels for eco-warrior Steve, who has grown up in a commune on the West Coast–so different from Nina's secure middle-class experience. When she returns to New York, she immediately senses that Mel and Avery are keeping secrets and soon discovers that they have become lovers. Rocked to the core, Nina wishes them happiness, but feels excluded and lonely, especially as her long-distance relationship begins to deteriorate. As is typical for teens, the girls obsess ad nauseam over their romantic relationships. Yet this narrow focus lends authenticity to the narrative, and readers become drawn into the characters' lives as they stumble toward adulthood, fall in and out of love, enlarge their circle of friends, and rethink their values.
The thrilling third installment to the Edgar-nominated, bestselling series
Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries to determine if she acted in time to save a member of the squad. If she did, how do you find a ghost? Also, Rorys classmate Charlotte has been kidnapped by Jane and her nefarious organization. Evidence is uncovered of a forty-year-old cult, ten missing teenagers, and a likely mass murder. Everything indicates that Charlottes in danger, and it seems that something much bigger and much more terrible is coming.
Time is running out as Rory fights to find her friends and the ghost squad struggles to stop Jane from unleashing her spectral nightmare on the entire city. In the process, theyll discover the existence of an organization that underpins London itself—and Rory will learn that someone she trusts has been keeping a tremendous secret.
About the Author
Maureen Johnson is the author of many young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Let It Snow. She lives in New York City.
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