Saturday, April 23, 2011

No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko

Cover from Amazon

Summary:  After the bank forecloses on their house, their mom sends Finn, India and Mouse to fictional Ft. Baker, Colorado to live with their Uncle Red. Since mom is a school teacher and they need the money from her job, she will join them once the school year ends.  However, it's not Ft. Baker where they land, but  Falling Bird.   Reminiscent of Dorothy's trip to Oz, the children soon realize that Falling Bird is like no place they have ever heard of  - and though at first it seems like a wonderful place to India and Mouse (Finn is more skeptical), they soon realize that home is where you family is and "there is no place like home."  But time is running out. Will they beat the clock and make it home?  

This story had the beginnings of a realistic story detailing an all too common experience for many families in today's economy.  When the plane lands the story shifts from realistic fiction to fantasy.   It is a little confusing - trying to figure out just what is going on - but the confusion the reader feels is the same as the characters.  Choldenko's craftily woven plot pulls the reader into the story, making it easy for readers to identify with the characters.  Half the fun of the reading the book is trying to solve the puzzle. 

Young adults/pre-teens will identify with how the children feel about being uprooted from their home. Adults will appreciate the growth the children experience as they try to find their way back. 

Readers who enjoy a bit of a mystery with a twist and a little bit of fantasy will enjoy this book.

Recommended for 4th Grade and up.

Mrs. Archer's rating: 4 of 5 

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