Nonetheless, a quality nail-biter, if other sources are available to help with the history

GIRL ON A PLANE

This thinly fictionalized tale recounts a hijacking the author survived in 1970.

Fifteen-year-old Anna is grumpy about boarding the plane that will take her from her dad's army posting in Bahrain to her boarding school back in England. Instead, though, her plane is hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and flown to the Jordanian desert. There, in the unventilated airplane and with scarcely any food or water, Anna spends four days waiting for the British government to release a PFLP prisoner. Blonde Anna, like the majority of her fellow passengers, appears to be white and neither Jewish nor Arab, though a few Arab passengers are let go early. (In this fictionalized account there is no mention of the 56 hostages, primarily Jews, who were segregated from the other passengers and held captive for weeks longer.) A welcome perspective on the difficult historical realities in which terrorism emerges is perhaps overwhelmed by a little too much sympathy; when teen hijacker Jamal asks Anna, if she'd encountered his circumstances, "Might you be here too?" she only thinks, "I can't answer him." Stockholm syndrome is one thing, as is empathy with the expulsion of the Palestinians, but most in Jamal's situation do not, in fact, hijack planes. Meanwhile, several other hijackers exhibit unpleasant Arab stereotypes, including wild or bulging eyes, often screaming in rage.

Nonetheless, a quality nail-biter, if other sources are available to help with the history . (Historical fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-78399-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Despite the stale fat-to-curvy pattern, compelling world building with a Southern European, pseudo-Christian feel,...

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS

From the Girl of Fire and Thorns series , Vol. 1

Adventure drags our heroine all over the map of fantasyland while giving her the opportunity to use her smarts.

Elisa—Princess Lucero-Elisa de Riqueza of Orovalle—has been chosen for Service since the day she was born, when a beam of holy light put a Godstone in her navel. She's a devout reader of holy books and is well-versed in the military strategy text Belleza Guerra, but she has been kept in ignorance of world affairs. With no warning, this fat, self-loathing princess is married off to a distant king and is embroiled in political and spiritual intrigue. War is coming, and perhaps only Elisa's Godstone—and knowledge from the Belleza Guerra—can save them. Elisa uses her untried strategic knowledge to always-good effect. With a character so smart that she doesn't have much to learn, body size is stereotypically substituted for character development. Elisa’s "mountainous" body shrivels away when she spends a month on forced march eating rat, and thus she is a better person. Still, it's wonderfully refreshing to see a heroine using her brain to win a war rather than strapping on a sword and charging into battle.

Despite the stale fat-to-curvy pattern, compelling world building with a Southern European, pseudo-Christian feel, reminiscent of Naomi Kritzer's Fires of the Faithful (2002), keeps this entry fresh. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-202648-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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