Fiction Willo Davis Roberts Undercurrents

ISBN 13: 9780689816710

Undercurrents

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9780689816710: Undercurrents

Fourteen-year-old Nikki Simons has lost her mother to cancer. Her older sister, Bonnie, will soon be off on an exciting trip before heading to college, leaving Nikki to cope with things at home, including her little brother, Sam.
Nikki still grieves for her mother, knows she will desperately miss Bonnie, and feels inadequate to fill in for them at home. And then their father makes a shattering announcement: He is going to marry Crystal, a woman he met through work who is only slightly older than his daughters.
Not long after the peculiar wedding (none of Crystal's family or friends attended), Nikki learns that in place of a European trip the family had planned before her mother's death, they will be spending part of the summer in the village of Trinidad, in northern California, where Crystal has inherited a house on the beach.
Nikki decides that going to the beach is preferable to having no vacation at all. But soon she's troubled by more than just Dad's hasty marriage to a woman who doesn't make much of an attempt to relate to his children. Other things about Nikki's new stepmother remain unexplained: Why is she reluctant to return to the house where she spent some time as a child? And after Dad is called back to Seattle on an emergency, what awful secret causes Crystal to have nightmares that waken Nikki out of a sound sleep? How is Nikki, by herself, expected to cope with things that baffle and frighten her?
Then Nikki meets Julian Gyasi, an intriguing boy known as Spook who lives in a house on the cliff nearby. Why are there mysterious lights in the tower windows over there, and who is the man who frightens Nikki by watching her from the top of the cliff? As the days pass, Crystal's behavior becomes even stranger and Dad is still not there to help Nikki deal with either her stepmother or the increasingly mysterious situation at the Gyasi house.

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About the Author:

Willo Davis Roberts wrote many mystery and suspense novels for children during her long and illustrious career, including The Girl with the Silver Eyes, The View from the Cherry Tree, Twisted Summer, Megan’s Island, Baby-Sitting Is a Dangerous Job, Hostage, Scared Stiff, The Kidnappers, and Caught! Three of her children’s books won Edgar Awards, while others received great reviews and other accolades, including the Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award, the California Young Reader’s Medal, and the Georgia Children’s Book Award.

From School Library Journal:

Grades 5-8--Only eight months after 14-year-old Nikki Simons's mother dies, her father marries Crystal, a young artist at the publishing company where he is an editor. Shortly thereafter, Crystal inherits a house on the California coast and Nikki's dad insists they go there for a vacation despite his new wife's obvious resistance. Nikki, her 10-year-old brother, and his friend Jeremy head out with the new couple to California. After Nikki's father is conveniently called away on business, the teen is left to cope with her stepmother's nightmares, unexplained terror, and refusal to be seen by any of the locals. Finally, Crystal reveals the reason for her traumatized state: she had witnessed the murder of her parents by a relative in a nearby house when she was a child. A fog at a pivotal point provides excitement, as does the moment that Nikki realizes that the murderer has been watching her. Crystal is described over and over again as pale and timid, and is so withdrawn that it's impossible to know what Mr. Simons could have seen in her. As in Roberts's To Grandmother's House We Go (Aladdin, 1994), the hasty conclusion hinges on a fire and a mentally unstable relative, but this book leaves readers hanging as to what happens to him. Eloise McGraw's Tangled Webb (McElderry, 1993) is a more engaging mystery about an instant stepmother. For Roberts at her best, suggest Megan's Island (Atheneum, 1988) or The Absolutely True Story-How I Visited Yellowstone Park with the Terrible Rupes (Macmillan, 1994).

Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description Aladdin Paperbacks, United States, 2002. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Fourteen-year-old Nikki Simons has lost her mother to cancer. Her older sister, Bonnie, will soon be off on an exciting trip before heading to college, leaving Nikki to cope with things at home, including her little brother, Sam. Nikki still grieves for her mother, knows she will desperately miss Bonnie, and feels inadequate to fill in for them at home. And then their father makes a shattering announcement: He is going to marry Crystal, a woman he met through work who is only slightly older than his daughters. Not long after the peculiar wedding (none of Crystal s family or friends attended), Nikki learns that in place of a European trip the family had planned before her mother s death, they will be spending part of the summer in the village of Trinidad, in northern California, where Crystal has inherited a house on the beach. Nikki decides that going to the beach is preferable to having no vacation at all. But soon she s troubled by more than just Dad s hasty marriage to a woman who doesn t make much of an attempt to relate to his children. Other things about Nikki s new stepmother remain unexplained: Why is she reluctant to return to the house where she spent some time as a child? And after Dad is called back to Seattle on an emergency, what awful secret causes Crystal to have nightmares that waken Nikki out of a sound sleep? How is Nikki, by herself, expected to cope with things that baffle and frighten her? Then Nikki meets Julian Gyasi, an intriguing boy known as Spook who lives in a house on the cliff nearby. Why are there mysterious lights in the tower windows over there, and who is the man who frightens Nikki by watching her from the top of the cliff? As the days pass, Crystal s behavior becomes even stranger and Dad is still not there to help Nikki deal with either her stepmother or the increasingly mysterious situation at the Gyasi house. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780689816710

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