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Dark Water [Audio]
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About the Author

Laura Rhoton McNeal holds a master's degree in fiction writing from Syracuse University. She taught middle school and high school English before becoming a novelist and journalist. Together, Laura and her husband, Tom McNeal, are the authors of Crooked, winner of the California Book Award for Juvenile Literature and an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults; Zipped, winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Children's Literature; Crushed (called "compelling" by Publishers Weekly); and The Decoding of Lana Morris, a Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Book of the Year. The McNeals live in Southern California with their two sons, Sam and Hank. To learn more, please visit the authors' Web site at www.mcnealbooks.com.

Reviews

Gr 9 Up-Laura McNeal's haunting tale (Knopf, 2010) about Pearl DeWitt, a 15-year-old with two different colored eyes, takes place in Falls River, California, near the Mexican border, with the actual 2007 catastrophic wildfires as the background. Pearl's divorced mother is desperately struggling to raise her daughter alone. Everything seems calm on the surface, but there's trouble raging. When Pearl's uncle hires illegal migrant workers to tend his avocado trees, she meets Amiel, who has limited speech, but attracts Pearl with his mysterious vibes. There is romance, love, mystery, and tragedy as fires rage across the county and Pearl is the only one who can warn Amiel that's he is in the direct path of the fire. The author creates one unforgettable image after another. Detailed descriptions of silkworms and the ever-changing California sky add vivid imagery and symbolism to the story. The audio version is haunting. Eileen Stevens's voice is clear and expressive, her pronunciation of the Spanish words is spot-on, and she changes her tone to reflect the different characters. Teens will relate to the dilemmas Pearl faces. Stevens's exceptional audio performance and the compelling story make this a must-have.-Ellen Frank, Jamaica High School, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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