A Crack in the Line (Withern Rise)

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9780060724795: A Crack in the Line (Withern Rise)

First in a new trilogy, by the author of the Jiggy McCue books. Two years ago, Alaric's mother died in an accident, and his world fell apart. Then one winter's day, Alaric finds himself drawn into a parallel world - a world in which his mother didn't die. The only problem is that in the other world she has a daughter, not a son. 14+.

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About the Author:

Michael Lawrence wanted to be an astronomer or archaeologist - instead he went to art school and trained as a graphic designer and photographer. He then worked in a wide range of jobs, including television script reader, press officer, art and antiques dealer, painter and sculptor. In 1995 his first children's book was published and he is now a full-time author, writing for children of all ages, from picture books for toddlers to novels for teenagers. He lives in Cambridgeshire, not far from the house in which he was born, the house that is Withern Rise in The Aldous Lexicon.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 7-10–Alaric and Naia, both 16, have nearly identical lives in parallel worlds. Their parents, their house, and their circumstances are the same, with one major difference. Alaric's mother was killed in a train wreck, while Naia's mother survived. This story of alternate realities raises questions about how one's life might be changed forever by a certain turn of events. Alaric's home is dreary, dirty, and joyless and he misses his mother terribly. Naia lives in a world of light and privilege, with a clean, nicely furnished house and two loving parents. Through an association with a tree in the garden of their mutual home, the two teenagers travel back and forth from one world to the other. Working together, they try to make sense of what has happened to them and why. This is a very engaging tale at the outset. Lawrence vividly describes the same house under radically different circumstances and it becomes the focal point of the story. The dialogue contains some British slang and humor but is not difficult to follow. Ultimately Alaric and Naia trade places irreversibly, so that it is now Naia who is motherless. Readers may be left wondering what all this means, but will need to wait for the next volume in the series for a possible explanation.–Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC
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