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Diamonds in the Shadow [Kindle Edition]

Caroline B. Cooney
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.95
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.96 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

THE FINCH FAMILY did not know that five refugees landed from Africa on the day they went to the airport to welcome the family sponsored by their church. The Finch family only knew about the four refugees they were meeting - Andre, Celestine, Mattu, and Alake - mother, father, teenage son and daughter.

Soon Jared realizes that the good guys are not always innocent, and he must make a decision that could change the fate of both families. This story presents many points of view and a fresh perspective on doing the right thing.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up—When the Finches take in a church-sponsored refugee family from war-torn Sierra Leone, teenage Jared is annoyed that he has to share his room with Mattu, who is his age. Sixth-grader Mopsy, however, is thrilled to embrace Alake and wants to turn her into a "best" friend. Alake doesn't talk, barely eats, and is plagued by nightmares. Meanwhile, Kara Finch takes the Amabo parents under her wing, teaching them about conveniences such as microwaves. The family brings no luggage except for two boxes of cremated remains. Through snooping, Jared and Mopsy find uncut diamonds in the ashes. Unlike their parents, they realize that something is amiss in this family. The Amabos do not talk, or touch, or seem to care about each other. Cooney brilliantly contrasts the horror of Africa's civil wars with the overwhelming abundance and naivety of American suburban life. Jared's narcissism, selfishness, and racism disintegrate when he confronts true evil. How families mysteriously bond and care for one another is examined under the dramatic circumstances of two disparate groups trying to make things work. When Jared learns that Mattu never heard of the Holocaust, he is astonished. But, Mattu tells him, "We have those in Africa. I have been in one." Indeed, more than 60 years later, we are learning about ever-new Holocausts.—Lillian Hecker, Town of Pelham Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Cooney's Connecticut church has sponsored war refugee families, and her stirring teen novel neither sensationalizes nor minimizes the brutality of their experiences. Her story unfolds through the alternating narratives of the American teens in a host family and African refugee teens, who can't forget what happened even as they adjust to their new surroundings and try to convince themselves they will eventually find a safe home. While Jared is angry that he has to share his room with Mattu and introduce the refugee at school, his younger sister tries to help Alake, who is mute and still. What horrors did Alake witness? Even in America, there's fear to be dealt with: a killer wants the uncut diamonds he forced Mattu and Alake to smuggle out for him. The climax is too neat, but tension mounts in a novel that combines thrilling suspense and a story about innocence lost. Rochman, Hazel

Product Details

  • File Size: 444 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385732627
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (March 10, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001UMCA0U
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403,818 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful read September 25, 2007
Format:Library Binding
Diamonds in the Shadow begins in a church committee meeting that Jared Finch-much to his surprise-is requested to attend. The church has sponsored a refugee African family of four, and their planned accommodation has fallen through. The Finch family has volunteered to house them for several weeks, much to Jared's disgust. As far as he is concerned, he hasn't signed up to anything, and it is his bedroom, as well as that of his sister Mopsy's, that is being volunteered.

The family eventually arrives. A disgruntled Jared does his best to overcome his unwillingness. His mother and sister are filled with boundless and cringe-inducing enthusiasm. His father, already bogged down in the implications of a church financial scandal involving a close friend, is completely detached. And this is one bizarre refugee family.

Independently of each other, both Jared and Mopsy begin to realize that something very strange is going on under the surface. The behaviour of the Amabo family members towards each other does not make sense, and clearly, the entire family is absolutely terrified of something, or someone. This knowledge draws Jared and Mopsy together, and begins to make them both curious and protective towards the children, Mattu and Alake. Surprise after surprise awaits them as the dark secrets of this unusual family begin to be uncovered.

This is a wonderful read, full of sparkling humor, top class teenage `attitude,' and gripping suspense. It is a book that can be enjoyed by both teenage and adult readers alike.

Armchair Interviews says: This book will make you laugh, and you won't want to put it down.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too September 11, 2007
I've been a fan of Caroline B. Cooney ever since reading The Face on the Milk Carton years ago. That being said, I was thrilled when I saw she has a new book, DIAMONDS IN THE SHADOW.

True to her contemporary style, Cooney brings in a current events issue - the unexplainable violence taking place in some areas of Africa today. This new book focuses on a group of African refugees coming to the United States to begin living safer and more enriching lives.

Four of the refugees - a father, mother, and two teenage children - are welcomed at the airport by the Finch family. The family's church is sponsoring the refugees and will provide them with a place to live and help in adjusting to life in America. The fifth refugee is met at the airport in New York, but is headed for a new life in Texas.

Not everyone is happy about the new living arrangements. The Amabo family was originally supposed to have their own apartment with the church volunteers helping out as needed. However, an apartment was not available, so they are moving in with the Finches. High school student, Jared Finch, is not at all pleased with this change in plans. His mother may be all excited about teaching this new family the ways of America, but sharing a room was not part of the arrangement.

Celestine Amabo is anxious to start learning about her new surroundings. She is a quick study as Mrs. Finch takes her shopping and teaches her about cooking and cleaning. Andre Amabo's adjustment is hampered by the fact that the uncontrolled violence in Africa resulted in the loss of both of his hands.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Diamonds in the shadow March 18, 2009
When the apartment that the Amabo family was to stay in falls through - Jared is forced to share his bedroom with Mutto - their teenage son. He is not very happy about this -not happy at all. Mopsy, Jared's younger sister, is overjoyed at the fact that their teenage daughter Alake will be bunking with her.

The Amabo family are refugees from Africa. They have received passage to the states and are being sponsered by Jared's church. They will help to give them training and find jobs - but there is trouble from the start. The biggest being that the fifth refugee on the plane doesn't like not being in control. Then Andre Amabo, the father, has had his hands chopped off during the war in Africa - one at the wrist, the other at the elbow. Alake doesn't speak - and doesn't appear to hear either. She has to be prodded to even eat. And what is up with Mattu and the two cardboard boxes that contain the ashes of his grandparents?

Jarod doesn't believe in the same God that his parents do, and that the Amabo's seem to also. He feels praying is a waste of time. But while the Amabo's are staying with them, his reality begins to change. He finds that doing things for other people really isn't that much trouble. He discovers that his younger sister isn't so annoying, but has great insight and can even be trusted. And he discovers what secrets the ashes of Mattu's grandparents contain. What he does with that information will decide the fate of both families - but will he make the right choice?

This would be a great book for middle schoolers and maybe early high school. It is well written, but seems a little simplistic for older than that. I would not recommend it for younger thatn middle school because of some of the violence that it describes.

People are not who or what you expect in this book - and that helped to make it a quite a page turner. I was able to read it in just two sittings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mostly a great book!
Loved this book! I really didn't think I would. It was great!

Note that the AR level is 5.1, although I think it's more suitable for junior high or high school. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sandy
4.0 out of 5 stars DIAMONDS IN THE SHADOWS
It started slow but picked up quickly. Great ending. Good for anyone who wants to educate their child on worldly issues that affect the US.
Published 17 months ago by Earthbreaks
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Its one of those books you cannot put down. You have to keep reading it to find out what is going to happen. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Alida Francheska Timmos
4.0 out of 5 stars Average Connecticut Family Faces Danger
Jared Finch is not thrilled about the idea of taking in a refugee family from war-torn Sierra Leone. When the family arrives, he shares a room with Mattu, a teenager his own age. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
An intriguing tale of unimaginable pains (physical and mental), friendship, and the learning of a new cultures. Highly recommended for all.
Published on February 24, 2013 by Jennifer Kearson
5.0 out of 5 stars Caroline B. Cooney Weaves a Masterful Mystery
Author Caroline B. Cooney masterfully illustrates the terror of war and how it vastly differs from the simplicity of suburban life in the United States. Read more
Published on October 16, 2009 by Genetta Adair
4.0 out of 5 stars Diamonds in the Shadow
Diamonds in the Shadow is a mystery of what happens to an African Refugee family when they end up living with a Connecticut family after an apartment falls through. Read more
Published on May 21, 2009 by Our Class
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem of a Tale
An American family of four. An African family of four ... plus one shadow figure with a murderous agenda. Read more
Published on March 19, 2009 by Delia Latham
4.0 out of 5 stars Good YA book that adults will want to read too!
"Diamonds in the Shadow" is a fantastic YA book from Caroline Cooney that is full of many great elements. Read more
Published on March 17, 2009 by Janna R. Ryan
4.0 out of 5 stars Teen Guy and Gals Will Like This One
I loved this Young Adult Fiction laced with suspense! The characters are fun to meet and provoke questions as the pages are turned. Read more
Published on March 17, 2009 by Sally
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