FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. With their house in foreclosure, sisters India and Mouse and brother Finn are sent to stay with an uncle in Colorado until their mother can join them but when the plane lands, the children are welcome by cheering crowds to a strange place where each of them has a perfect house and a clock that is ticking down the time.
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Gennifer Choldenko is the Newbery-Honor-winning and Carnegie-Medal-shortlisted author of Al Capone Does My Shirts and Al Capone Shines My Shoes. Gennifer lives in San Francisco, USA.From School Library Journal:
Gr 5-7-When their mom loses their house to foreclosure, India, Finn, and Mouse must move in with a relative in Colorado. The journey turns peculiar when the kids' flight lands in a strange location where cell phones don't work and they are cut off from the normal world. In a feather-covered cab with a child driver, they enter Falling Bird, a Coraline-like alternate reality where things seem better than the place they left behind, but where something indefinably sinister lurks beneath the surface. And the citizens seem determined to keep the siblings there, with false promises of an easy existence and the lure of a "dream house." But when their dream houses literally break apart, the kids are thrust again into a homeless existence that mirrors their real-world limbo. The story is fast-moving and entertaining, but it's hard to figure out the significance of the many devices: there's a white cat, a black box, some puzzle pieces, clocks that count backwards, and a magic phone that knows their intentions. It's all a bit confusing, but, if readers don't sweat the details, it's a fun ride, full of adventure, suspense, and good characterization. Brainy little Mouse is aptly described as "like Einstein on a sugar high," and self-centered, desperate-for-approval India taps into her inner power by the end of the tale and comes through for her siblings. An additional purchase, for readers who like clues and adventure, and aren't daunted by a puzzling ending.-Emma Burkhart, Springside School, Philadelphia, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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