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Escape the Mask (Grassland Trilogy


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About the Author

David Ward was born in Montreal, Quebec and grew up in the city of Vancouver beside the mountains and ocean. He was an elementary school teacher for eleven years before completing his Masters degree. David is currently a writer and university instructor in children's literature. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and three children.


Gr 8 Up-This fantasy depicts a society of child slaves working the fields collecting shards. Penned up like animals at night by their harsh masters, the "Spears," these youngsters have only distant memories of life before they were kidnapped from their villages. They are set free in the confusion of the war between the Spears and the "soldiers of the Outside" over the shards. They escape into a world only few of them remember or know how to exist in. Hiding from both the Spears and the Outsiders, they travel as far away as they can from their prison and see the horrors of war in the process. When the children reach the villages outside Grassland, they realize that the Spears may not be so different from them after all, despite their cruelty. This adds a surprising plot twist. The characters are slowly developed, and in the end readers are left with a better idea of what makes them behave as they do. The mood is sustained well throughout as a general sense of unease builds from the first chapter on. Readers know that something horrible is going to happen. This is an interesting book that could be a hit with slower readers, and a definite first purchase for most collections.-Jennifer-Lynn Draper, Children's Literature Consultant, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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