Add this one to your TBR list: NO PASSENGERS BEYOND THIS POINT by Gennifer Choldenko, coming in February 2011 from Dial Books for Young Readers. (Yes, she's the Newbery-winning author of Al Capone Does My Shirts.) Like a modern-day Wizard of Oz, this book will swoop in and carry you away. Buckle yourself in and hold tight!
Twelve-year-old Finn has always been a worrier. As the only guy in his household, he feels responsible for his mother, his older sister India and his younger sister, Mouse (real name: Geneva). But when Mom tells them she's lost the house to foreclosure, and she's sending them to Colorado to stay with Uncle Red, Finn and his sisters have to work together to survive an even more urgent crisis. Because where the plane ends up definitely isn't Colorado. They know something's wrong when the plane lands early and they're met by a driver named Chuck. He drives a shocking pink taxi adorned with white feathers. Yes, you read that right. Feathers. Worse, Chuck has never heard of Uncle Red.
No Passengers Beyond This Point is one strange trip indeed. The three siblings, who take turns telling the story, find themselves in a place called Falling Bird, where they are greeted by adoring crowds and each given a house of their own.
For one night.
After that, it's someone else's turn to be met and adored. The siblings are offered jobs if they want to stay in Falling Bird. And this is where the book really begins to get its talons into you. Should they stay? India certainly wants to. Can Finn and Mouse convince India they need to go home -- wherever home may be?
This is one of those books that resonates long after you finish reading it. I read it a few weeks ago, and I'm STILL thinking about it. The ending may send chills up your spine. Even if you think you can guess what's going on here -- you'll probably be at least slightly wrong. Because things are not what they seem.
What Middle Grade marvels have YOU read recently?