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About the Author

Alice Hoffman is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 15 acclaimed novels beloved by teens and adults, from THE FORETELLING, GREEN ANGEL, and AQUAMARINE to THE ICE QUEEN, HERE ON EARTH (an Oprah's Book Club selection), and PRACTICAL MAGIC, which was made into a major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. INCANTATION is Hoffman's fifth young adult novel.


Gr 9 Up-Alice Hoffman's historical novel (Little, Brown, 2006) is brought to life compellingly in Jenna Lamia's subtly accented reading. At the dawn of the 16th century, Spain's Jews have fled, been restricted to ghettoes, or converted to Christianity in order to live openly in Spanish society. Estrella's family has lived in her village for 500 years and is, as far as the 16-year-old knows, like all her neighbors and her best friend, fervently Catholic. In fact, however, they are hidden Jews, and Estrella realizes this only weeks before it occurs to the townspeople. Hoffman describes with accuracy, but without undue manipulation, the devastation of Estrella's family through torture and murder, her confrontation of the truths about her supposed friend and her neighbors, and her newly found and embraced identity. An interesting love story adds an unusual element to the novel. An excellent choice for curriculum support as well as for casual listeners.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Lamia adopts a vaguely Spanish tone for her reading of Hoffman's tale of a 16-year-old girl in 16th-century Spain who discovers she is a converso-a Jewish convert to Christianity whose family secretly practices the Jewish faith. Lamia trills her Rs and renders her vowels pleasantly strange, sounding more like a Spaniard attempting to tread the unfamiliar ground of English than a native speaker. This strategy occasionally dips toward self-parody, but on the whole, Lamia is pleasant to listen to, and the slightly childish, perky tone of her voice is just right for Hoffman's teenage protagonist. Her unusual reading provides an air of mystery that is entirely appropriate for this story of secret lives unraveled. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
An Association of Jewish Libraries Honor Book
An Entertainment Weekly Books We Loved This Year Selection
A Seattle Times Best Book for Kids and Teens
A Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year
A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

"[A] fascinating glimpse of a past civilization."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"[Has] great appeal to teens."--KLIATT (starred review)
"Riveting."--School Library Journal (starred review)

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