No-one seems to sense the sinister under-current in Chesthunt, except Nathaniel. It's the haunted look in people's eyes and the subdued aura around the school. But then, Nathaniel is new. He has to be initiated into the ways of the town, and the Gathering. Once that is done, he won't cause trouble.
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Isobelle Carmody was born June 16, 1958 in Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia. She is an author of science fiction and fantasy for children, young-adults and adults and best known for her Obernewtyn Chronicles, which she wrote while she was still at high school and worked on it while completing her Bachelor of Arts and subsequent journalism cadetship.From School Library Journal:
Grade 7-10-Vile odors, feral dogs, fascistic school monitors, and a demonic principal combine to convince Nathaniel, 15, that something is terribly wrong in his new town. As part of a class assignment, he probes into local history and discovers the shocking truth about the death of a school janitor years ago. The evil from that chilling incident still grips Cheshunt and is now rapidly gaining power. Nathaniel finds himself drawn to a group of misfits at school and they are soon involved in a struggle against the terrible forces that seek total control of the community. Suspense builds slowly and creates an atmosphere of grim foreboding. However, Nathaniel is the only one of the young people whose personality is distinct, and the fantasy elements in the plot are not fully developed. The principal is, of course, pure evil. The other adults are mostly unaware of the epic battle shaping up around them. Only when evil is about to triumph do the young people at last understand the true nature of their power. It is this last-minute insight, however, that makes the chilling climax a success. The message-that love, loyalty, and true friendship can conquer jealousy and hatred-will not be lost on readers. What will attract and hold them, though, are the superbly crafted elements of horror, which are the story's real strength.
Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro,
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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