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The Blue Girl (Firebird)
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About the Author

Charles de Lint (charlesdelint.com) is the author of more than seventy adult, young adult, and children's books. Renowned as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, White Pine, Crawford, and Aurora awards. The first book of the Wildlings trilogy, Under My Skin, won the 2013 Aurora Award for Young Adult Fiction. De Lint is a poet, songwriter, performer, and folklorist, and he writes a monthly book-review column for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. De Lint and his wife, MaryAnn Harris, a fellow artist and musician, recently released companion CDs of their original songs, samples of which can be heard on de Lint's website. They live in Ottawa.

Reviews

De Lint (Moonheart) tackles magic and the afterlife in a suburban high school setting in this inventive if somewhat convoluted tale. Imogene Yeck is new to Redding High, and with her piercings and goth clothes, she immediately gets branded ("Yuck," a play on her last name). She quickly befriends an outsider of another sort, geeky and thoughtful Maxine. Imogene begins seeing a "pale, nerdy guy-sort of like a tall Harry Potter... but gawkier and with a narrower face," called Ghost, according to the school's legend. Imogene and Maxine learn that this is the ghost of Adrian, a bullied kid who "either jumped or fell off the roof" some years before. Adrian, who admires Imogene (for standing up to the bullying football quarterback), inadvertently attracts the attention of "the darkness," also called "ghost- or soul-eaters." She learns of this in part from her childhood imaginary friend Pelly, now an ominous figure who is appearing in her dreams. Fairies factor into the story, as does a roving angel who tries to convince Adrian to give up his hold on the world and "move on." The book feels a bit strained, packed with one mythology too many. It may also be challenging to some readers at first: the early clever repartEe between Imogene and Maxime gives way to three different first-person narratives (Imogene's, Maxine's and Adrian's), told at two different periods in time ("Then" and "Now"). Fantasy-minded goth kids, though, will likely find it worth the effort. Ages 12-up. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Gr 9 Up-This lively novel thoughtfully examines friendships that cross magical boundaries and explores how love can strengthen and save us. On her first day of school in a new town, Imogene meets Maxine, an outcast, and is targeted by a group of popular bullies. The two become friends despite their polar personalities; Imogene is bold and brash where Maxine is mousy and quiet. When Imogene notices a pale boy watching her, she asks about him and learns the story of Ghost-actually Adrian-another outcast who was harassed by cliques, died under mysterious circumstances a few years earlier, and now haunts the school. His only companions are a handful of amoral fairies. He convinces them to show themselves to Imogene, but this draws the soul-sucking anamithim to her, endangering her life and the people she loves. Adrian, Imogene, and Maxine alternate as narrators. Tied together as victims of both the magical world and of everyday tyrants, they are sympathetic characters who speak with sharp, snappy dialogue. As in Nina Kiriki Hoffman's A Stir of Bones (Viking, 2003), the otherworldly threat skillfully mirrors and enhances real-world concerns. This complicated story is made more intricate by the now/then time shifts between chapters. The two popular bullies are stereotypically flat, but the remaining characters are well drawn and delightful. Imogene's brutal choices about where to draw the line between self-protection and becoming like her tormentors are clearly depicted.-Sarah Couri, New York Public Library Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"This lively novel thoughtfully examines friendships that cross magical boundaries and explores how love can strengthen and save us."--School Library Journal

"Imogene and Maxine are fully-drawn characters, and the plot builds steadily toward the end."--Children's Literature "Readers always know what to expect in a de Lint fantasy: supple, sinuous writing in a contemporary setting laced with fantasy neatly hardwired in place . . . Fairies like the evil twins of the wee free men, Imogene's not so imaginary childhood friend Pelly, and a shadow world impinging on this one conjure up satisfying elements of Buffy the Vampire Slayer--there's even a helpful British librarian named Ms. Giles."--Kirkus Reviews

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