After devouring two of Oliver’s books (Delirium and Pandemonium), I had to go back and read her debut novel, Before I Fall. In a Glee mash up, this would be Groundhog Day meets Thirteen Reasons Why. It was witty and poignant, but also unnerving and annoying as the main character, Sam, has a go at the same day over and over (and over) again. Chock full of valuable lessons, this is a great young adult read if you can get past the repetition. I was going to write a plot synopsis, but in preparing for next week’s conference presentation all about utilizing technology to promote young adult reading, I found this great book trailer that *hopefully* does the trick! Let me know what you think and what you’re doing with book trailers yourself!
Reviewed by Mrs. Archambault
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The title of this novel is taken from the book of Ezekiel in which the prophet describes the perfect place awaiting believers as a “Land of Decoration.” In a rundown English factory town, 11-year-old Judith and her father cling to this promise as their daily lives become increasingly difficult. Judith’s mother died giving birth to her, bullies at school torment her relentlessly, and she is sure her father does not love her. As refuge, Judith creates her own “Land of Decoration,” a miniature world composed of found objects where peace and happiness dwell. Her father, meanwhile, withdraws into himself as the workers at his factory strike creating hardship throughout the town. Judith, however, believes in miracles and that God speaks to her encouraging her to perform her “miracles” and make things right. Despite all this, things become increasingly worse. Is Judith truly hearing God’s voice? Is she making miracles happen. Will things ever get better?
Reviewed by Mrs. Vaughn
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