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London Calling


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About the Author

Edward Bloor is the author of the celebrated novel Tangerine which was an ALA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults, a Horn Book Fanfare Selection, and a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book. The author lives in Winter Garden, FL.


Seventeen-year-old Matthew Walsh narrates this account of his tumultuous South Boston childhood with one of literature's most despicable mothers: Nikki is 34 when the book opens pretty, reckless and dangerously manipulative. Through the course of Werlin's (Double Helix) taut story, Matt and his sisters, Callie and Emmy, tiptoe around her mercurial behavior in a calculated effort to survive into adulthood hiding in their rooms when she brings strange men home, saying whatever they believe she wants to hear, doing whatever they must to avoid a violent outburst. The children's father and unmarried aunt know the kids are in danger, but their fear of Nikki outweighs their willingness to act. The novel unfolds as a letter Matt is writing to Emmy as he heads off to college. He possesses the insight of a teen who has rocketed into adulthood out of necessity. If some readers find his maturity implausible, Werlin deflects attention from his nearly dispassionate recollection with short chapters and a thread of palpable tension that will easily carry readers along to the hopeful ending. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Bloor continues to demonstrate his range, this time mixing historical fiction with time travel in a poignant adventure story about fathers and sons. . . . Have tissues on hand for the final pages."-Publishers Weekly

"Martin's determination and the vivid scenes of London during the Blitz are sure to appeal."-Kliatt

Gr 6-9-Using the literary technique of magical realism, Bloor brings readers a serious tale of justice and redemption, of fathers and sons, of the privileged and the common. John Martin Conway feels out of place at his exclusive prep school, where he is constantly reminded that he is a scholarship kid. After a confrontation with Hank Lowery, the great-grandson of the school's founder, he requests to work at home on an independent study project. The World War II-era radio that his grandmother left him brings him into contact with Jimmy, a boy who lived during the war and who needs his help. He takes Martin back to the time of the London Blitz. In his own time, he focuses his research on the things Jimmy shows him and the people he encounters. Along the way he uncovers some new information about his grandfather's and General Hank Lowery's dealings during the war and discovers how he can help put Jimmy's soul to rest. He also comes to terms with his alcoholic father and with his own depression. Readers will identify with the modern elements of the story and be drawn into the tension of the historical events. Evocative descriptions and elegant phrasings make the writing most enjoyable, and because the author uses a first-person voice, the story seems very personal, and readers will feel Martin's turmoil and angst. Bloor's fans and those who like a little light fantasy with their history will find something intriguing here.-Cheri Dobbs, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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