The first in a new adventure trilogy full of danger, bravery, and unexpected friendships
Welcome to Grassland, where the only hope of freedom is to go beyond the reach of sinister, silent masters, and the only family you know are your fellow captives. Coriko has never known a world beyond his cell and the fields where he toils all day. He does what he’s told and tries not to anger the Spears, the cruel, masked jailers who guard him and the other child slaves. If he gathers baskets of shards and keeps quiet and orderly, then he can spend time with his cellmate and best friend, Pippa.
But without warning, the children’s orderly lives begin to change—slowly at first, with the arrival of a pair of siblings who speak Coriko and Pippa’s language. Soon after, violent events shake up the quiet world of Grassland, and Coriko must find the strength to grasp his freedom. Full of heartstopping action, Escape the Mask introduces Coriko, Pippa, and their friends—and begins the journey of The Grassland Trilogy.
F&P level: X
F&P genre: F
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David Ward is a former elementary school teacher who was born in Montreal, Quebec. He is currently a writer and university instructor in children’s literature. David lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife and three children.
Grade 8 Up—This fantasy depicts a society of child slaves working the fields collecting shards. Penned up like animals at night by their harsh masters, the "Spears," these youngsters have only distant memories of life before they were kidnapped from their villages. They are set free in the confusion of the war between the Spears and the "soldiers of the Outside" over the shards. They escape into a world only few of them remember or know how to exist in. Hiding from both the Spears and the Outsiders, they travel as far away as they can from their prison and see the horrors of war in the process. When the children reach the villages outside Grassland, they realize that the Spears may not be so different from them after all, despite their cruelty. This adds a surprising plot twist. The characters are slowly developed, and in the end readers are left with a better idea of what makes them behave as they do. The mood is sustained well throughout as a general sense of unease builds from the first chapter on. Readers know that something horrible is going to happen. This is an interesting book that could be a hit with slower readers, and a definite first purchase for most collections.—Jennifer-Lynn Draper, Children's Literature Consultant, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
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Book Description Scholastic Canada, Limited, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0439987687