From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 5–9—The lives of three young people intersect and transform against the backdrop of a total solar eclipse. Homeschooled Ally has grown up at the remote Moon Shadow Campground, which her family runs. An eclipse, which can be viewed only from this site, is approaching, and ahead of it come Bree, an aspiring model obsessed with popularity, and Jack, a reclusive artist and avid sci-fi reader. Ally's sheltered world is about to open up as she discovers that her parents plan to cede management of the campground to Bree's parents after the event. Neither Ally nor Bree is excited about the prospect, but as the teens interact they come to terms with the changes they face. Meanwhile, introverted Jack finds himself making friends and becoming a leader. As they go their separate ways, all three approach the future with a newfound balance between their internal and their external lives. The characters are well drawn and likable. Even the seemingly shallow Bree reveals hidden layers as the story progresses. The campground setting affords the youngsters independence, allowing them to interact freely and make their own choices. The astronomical details are fascinating and lyrically incorporated into the narrative. An author's note includes the date of the next solar eclipse in the mainland United States and additional resources. Readers who like quietly self-reflective novels like Lynne Rae Perkins's Criss Cross (HarperCollins, 2005) or Jerry Spinelli's "Stargirl" books (Knopf) will also enjoy this compelling and thought-provoking story.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH
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Three young teens witness a total solar eclipse and are changed forever in this novel, told in alternating narratives, that weaves exciting astronomy facts into the teens’ personal lives. Ally, 13, is fascinated by the scientific event, as are 1,000 other people from all over the world who come to view the Great Eclipse at her family’s wilderness site. Glamorous teen Bree has an opposite view and is appalled that her parents, both physics scholars, want to move to the site: how can she manage without the mall? Then there is Jack, who loves art and science fiction but is a failure at science and is brought to the site by his teacher. The anticipation building up to the great event brings thrilling changes in all three young lives. Bree’s hilarious account of her experience as a glamour queen in the wilderness is right-on, but she moves beyond total stereotype and allows herself to release her inner geek, at least for a while, while Ally and Jack bond and also break their rigid character roles. The contemporary voices ring true, and readers will want to read more about the science surrounding eclipses. Grades 5-8. --Hazel Rochman
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