Monday, December 6, 2010

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday -- No Passengers Beyond This Point

The amazing Shannon Whitney Messenger started this meme and I wish I'd thought of it first bow to her genius.  Hooray for Middle Grade!!  Be sure to check out all the other MMGM posts today: one from Shannon O'Donnell, another from Myrna Foster and also from Elle Strauss.  It's a veritable Middle Grade Love Fest!  You do know that Middle Grade is the new YA, right?

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?


  1. Yay for MMGM! So exciting to see a few of these popping up! :) And this book sounds amazing. Can't wait for February to come so I can check it out.

    Thanks for an awesome post. I added a link in mine so hopefully some people will find you! :)

  2. Oh, this one looks like a great read! Thanks for the recommendation and the link!

  3. Thanks, Shannon! It's always nice to be linked. :)

    Hi Myrna and thanks and you're welcome!

  4. this sounds really good-- I recently read The strange case of origami yoda and The mysterious benedict society. Totally different, but loved them both!

  5. This book sounds really awesome. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

  6. Oooh, KO, I adore The Mysterious Benedict Society. It's been very popular with customers in the bookstore. And come to think of it, so has Origami Yoda. Haven't read that one yet, but would like to. Thanks!

    Hi Jade! Hope the Choldenko book is available in Australia. You would like it.

  7. Thanks for the positive review. There were some things I didn't like about the book, but I can understand the things that appealed to you about it.

  8. Welcome, Ms. Yingling and thanks for your comment! I realize it may not be everyone's cup of tea. But I'm always up for a discussion. What didn't you like about it?


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