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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old




*First Light* by Rebecca Stead- young readers book review
 
Also by Rebecca Stead:

When You Reach Me
First Light
by Rebecca Stead
Ages 9-12 336 pages Yearling October 2008 Paperback    

Peter Solemnís is an ordinary life - until his twelfth birthday. Thatís when everything, including Peter himself, begins to change. His father is a glaciologist Ė a scientist who studies glaciersóand spends a lot of his time teaching at a university. An important part of that job, however, involves spending time on glaciers, studying their movement and the rate at which they are melting. Peter has heard a lot of stories about those trips, about the weather and the dogsleds and even some stories about his fatherís heroic acts to save members of his team.

Now his dad has a new trip planned, and this time both Peter and his mother will be going along. Peter will be out of school for a few weeks (he doesnít mind), and at long last heíll get to experience the excitement of field research along with his father.

Another unusual thing has just cropped up in Peterís life, this one not so exciting Ė at least Peter doesnít think so. Lately heís been having severe headaches that come with an odd side effect: while his head is pounding, he sees things that make no sense and that he canít explain.

As Peter and his family prepare for their trip to Iceland, a girl named Thea is having a life-changing experience of her own. Thea lives in Gracehope, a city buried beneath the glacier. Her people have lived inside the icy cavern for many centuries, originally led there by their ancestor, Grace, who believed that hiding underground was the only way to save themselves from the witch hunters in medieval England.

Gracehope has everything anyone could want, except for the light of the sun. Thea believes that it is time for her people to return to the surface of the world, and she takes her dream to the ruling council. Her own grandmother, Rowen, is head of the council, but Thea gets no support from her. In fact, it almost seems as if Rowen is trying to make Thea look like a foolish child with a ridiculous dream. Determined to prove that she is right, Thea sets out to find a passage to the upper world, but her journey draws both Thea and Peter into greater danger than they could ever imagine.

Author Rebecca Stead has created a magical blend of reality and fantasy. First Light is a sophisticated story that transcends the young readers genre, combining action and adventure with thoughtful lessons and clearly-conceived metaphors. Every scene is a surprise, filled with extraordinary characters and clearly drawn landscapes. Readers will be quickly drawn into the world of Gracehope, while eagerly anticipating the outcome of this remarkably well- crafted debut novel.
 
Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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