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The Name of the Star (Shades of London, Book 1)


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About the Author

Maureen Johnson was born in Philadelphia, but soon ran off to New York City to study writing and drama at Columbia University. Along the way, she served up hamburgers in the company of mad scientists and talking skeletons in New York, worked in a bar in Piccadilly Circus, nervously worked alongside five tigers in Las Vegas, and once got mixed up with the entire cast of a major West End musical. She is the author of The Key to the Golden Firebird and The Bermudez Triangle. You can visit Maureen online at www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com


"A gorgeously written, chilling, atmospheric thriller. The streets of London have never been so sinister or so romantic." Cassandra Clare, author of THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS

"An unputdownable thrill ride that will leave you gasping, laughing, and dreaming of London."
Ally Carter, bestselling author of the GALLAGHER GIRLS series and HEIST SOCIETY

"This book made me want to give up everything, move to London, and fight ghosts."
Holly Black, bestselling author of MODERN FAERIE TALE series

"Johnson fearlessly takes readers from what seems like a cool innocent-abroad-with-iPod story to supernatural thriller ... will have readers madly eager for the next instalment." Kirkus Reviews

In Johnson's supernatural thriller, Rory Deveaux, a teenager from smalltown Louisiana, arrives at a London boarding school just in time for a resurgence of Jack the Ripper-style serial killings. Soon, Rory finds herself the target of a mysterious murderer as she attempts to navigate the complex social circles of boarding school and uncover London's ghostly secrets. Nicola Barber strains to create a believable American accent for Rory's first-person narration and delivers her dialogue as if the young protagonist were constantly on the verge of a swoon. Additionally, Barber often fails to capture Rory's teenage flippancy, opting instead for breathy enthusiasm. However, the novel boasts a colorful supporting cast of British characters, and in rendering their voices Barber shines, breathing life into everyone from the coach of the school's field hockey team to the "queen bee" of a clique at boarding school. Ages 12-up. A Putnam hardcover. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Gr 7 Up-Rory Deveaux is from Louisiana and is excited to attend Wexford School in London while her parents teach on sabbatical in Bristol. After nearly choking to death on a piece of food, Rory discovers that she has the ability to see ghosts. She arrives in London in the midst of a series of Jack the Ripper copycat murders and becomes the only person who has seen the prime suspect in the case-but it takes her a while to realize that some of the people she has witnessed near the crime scenes are shades or ghosts. Before long, Rory becomes the murderer's target. She meets others with similar abilities, and together they work to solve the crime spree. Rory finds friendship, romance, and a home away from home in London while coming to terms with her special ability. Maureen Johnson's chilling, entertaining story (Putnam, 2011) is read at an appropriately suspenseful pace by Nicola Barber who does a fine job with the various Southern and British accents and gives each character a unique voice. Listeners will look forward to the other titles in the trilogy.-Cynthia Ortiz, Hackensack High School, NJ (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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