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Shadow Falls Hardcover – June 14, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (June 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385731329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385731324
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,104,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-10–After 12 summers with her older brother in their grandfather's remote Wyoming valley, Annie, 15, is returning alone for the first time. Numbed by grief over Cody's death, she is blind to the beauty of the mountains that once called her to climb and take pictures. Annie is also heedless of her grandfather's grief and his attempts to reach out to her. It is the disappearance of a small boy and the presence of Great-Grandmother Grizzly that help the teen overcome her loss and open her heart to others and to the world. The book, to some extent, focuses on mountain climbing–which is an interesting and fairly unexplored topic in young adult literature. Unfortunately, this originality does not extend to the rest of the book. The slow-to-develop plot is dragged down by cheesy description and uninspired dialogue. The characters are stereotypical. The appearance of the grizzly as Annie's totem has great potential, but without a deeper exploration of Native American religion, the bear is without context. Wilderness fans who have exhausted Gary Paulsen would be better off moving on to Will Hobbs.–Morgan Johnson-Doyle, Sierra High School, Colorado Springs, CO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. Six months after her brother Cody dies in an Andean climbing accident, Annie returns to her grandfather's cabin in Wyoming's Tetons, where the memories of summers with Cody haunt her. Believing that her brother was the favored child, Annie harbors resentment and anger, and she blames her grandfather for teaching Cody to climb. Her grandfather's brusque ways and his own grief keep the two at odds, and her once beloved photography hobby no longer holds her interest. A close encounter with Great Grandmother (a grizzly bear) leaves Annie unharmed but signals the beginning of her return from grief. The bear appears to her in dreams and visions throughout the book, paralleling her journey toward understanding her brother's death. Her summer job babysitting Zachary, a young boy with hurts of his own, and the diversion provided by his attractive, troubled older brother also help with her healing. After Zachary disappears, a search team forms and Annie engages in a dangerous rescue mission that finds her climbing in her brother's footsteps. Teens will enjoy Annie's honest emotions and her wilderness adventures. Cindy Dobrez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Amy Kathleen Ryan is a graduate of the New School Creative Writing Program. She lives in Colorado. Visit her website at: www.AmyKathleenRyan.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jon Healy on July 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The ending made me cry a little, and I'm a 35 year old man. I was actually interested in the main character's thoughts as she struggles with the anguish of having lost a loved one. Very sweet story. There are some moments of suspense in the story when she faces danger from a bear, and also when she is forced to climb down a cliff-face at great risk. I will save a copy for my children when they are old enough to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gina A. Turner on August 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This touching and page-turning story contains beautiful descriptions of its locations in Jackson, Wyoming. Annie was someone I, when I was a shy, searching-for-answers teenager girl myself, would have like to have been friends with - she's realistic, quirky, and wins you over. I love the complexity of the characters (especially Marcus), and the lovely flashbacks to scenes with Cody. Very enjoyable!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tester on July 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
15 year old Annie McGraw doesn't want to spend the summer at her grandfather's home in the Tetons. Because every stone there reminds her of her beloved brother Cody, who died in a climbing accident some months ago. But she has no choice because her mom thinks that it's just what she needs to go on with life.
Annie and her grandfather never had an easy relationship and with Cody gone things have changed for the worse. Both don't know how to talk to the other and how to deal with Cody's death. Even though Annie doesn't want her summer to be special and worthy, she soon relaizes that maybe it's just what she needs to learn how to handle the loss of Cody.

I bought "Shadow Falls" right after I finished reading "Vibes" by Amy Kathleen Ryan because I enjoyed the book so much and wanted to read more by the author. "Shadow Falls" is absolutely different from "Vibes" and still I enjoyed both a lot.

The main theme in this book is loss and grief. At times it was heart-breaking to read how Annie dealt with Cody's death. The author showed in a haunting way how difficult it can be to go on with life when an important member of your family died. I loved the contrast between what happened in the now to what happened in Annie's flashbacks. This way the past and present were interwoven and I could understand why Annie felt the way she did.

The relationship between Annie and her grandfather is another major part of the story. Cody's dead brought to light what was wrong between them and in the end gave them a second chance. I enjoyed that their relationship didn't change from one second to another, this fit to their personalities and to the overall pace of the book.

The description of the wilderness and especially the woods was beautiful and captivating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn MacCullough on September 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully written, moving novel about teenage Annie's search for answers after her brother's accidental death. Ryan's writing is fluid and poetic, her characters are engaging and real-to-life and the descriptions of the Wyoming wilderness are fantastic. I highly recommend this novel to both teenagers and adults.
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Format: Library Binding
Having grown up in Wyoming, it's refreshing to see such a wonderful story using Wyoming as a backdrop. Ms. Ryan's characters are alive and real in their struggles to overcome grief. Her characterization of the mountains and its terrain really made me feel as if I were home again. I also enjoyed the dynamics between Annie and her grandfather. Their struggle to reconnect to one another in spite of the loss they shared is heartwarming and extremely touching. I hope that Ms. Ryan will go on to write more books of this caliber.
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