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Three young teens witness a total solar eclipse and are changed forever in this novel, told in alternating narratives, that weaves exciting astronomy facts into the teens' personal lives. Ally, 13, is fascinated by the scientific event, as are 1,000 other people from all over the world who come to view the Great Eclipse at her family's wilderness site. Glamorous teen Bree has an opposite view and is appalled that her parents, both physics scholars, want to move to the site: how can she manage without the mall. Then there is Jack, who loves art and science fiction but is a failure at science and is brought to the site by his teacher. The anticipation building up to the great event brings thrilling changes in all three young lives. Bree's hilarious account of her experience as a glamour queen in the wilderness is right-on, but she moves beyond total stereotype and allows herself to release her inner geek, at least for a while, while Ally and Jack bond and also break their rigid character roles. The contemporary voices ring true, and readers will want to read more about the science surrounding eclipses. Grades 5-8. --Hazel Rochman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Wendy Mass is a prolific author for both young adult and middle grade novels. She won the ALA Schneider Family Award for her first young readers' novel, A Mango-Shaped Space, about a girl who has synesthesia. Her second novel, Leap Day, stars a girl who was born on February 29. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life follows a young boy on a journey to solve one of life's greatest mysteries, and Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall is her first novel-in-verse. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, twin daughter and son, and a cat. Her Web site is www.wendymass.com.