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Shadows in the Twilight Hardcover – July 8, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 620L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (July 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385734964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385734967
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,803,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–8—Being run over by a bus and living to tell about it is the impetus that pushes young Joel Gustafson do a good deed. Only it doesn't turn out to be as easy as it seems. Anguished by the feeling that he needs to atone for his miraculous escape, he goes from friend to friend looking for ideas about just what his good deed should be. He settles on helping his friend Gertrud find a husband, which is a tall task since she is decidedly eccentric and missing a nose. Joel runs into many roadblocks while trying to enact his plan, testing both his determination and resourcefulness. Fans of Mankell's A Bridge to the Stars (Delacorte, 2007) will enjoy the reunion with Joel, his father, Sara, and Gertrud No-Nose. Others might be confused by larger-than-life characters in a very simple plot. They might also scratch their heads at the setting—a small town in Northern Sweden in 1957. Also, some of the translations seem more British than American, which could be confusing. This book will not appeal to a broad audience.—Nicki Clausen-Grace, Carillon Elementary School, Oviedo, FL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The dramatic opening will grab everyone: crossing the road without looking, Joel Gustafson, 11, is run over by a bus––and survives without a scratch, miraculously caught between the wheels. He knows he must do a Good Deed in return for the Miracle. So he decides to find a lover for his adult friend, Gertrude. Unfortunately, he messes up big time. In this companion to A Bridge to the Stars (2007), also translated from the Swedish, the author of the best-selling Kurt Wallender mystery series for adults continues Joel’s story in a Swedish village in the 1950s. The cute, good-deed stuff may appeal more to adults. Joel plays out Old West scenarios, tries writing love letters, travels to the “underworld” beneath the street, and manipulates the old telephone exchange. What young people will appreciate are the timeless messages: it isn’t necessary to go into a forest to get lost; there’s no anger greater than the anger directed at oneself. Grades 5-8. --Hazel Rochman

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
Absolutely adore Henning Mankell books.
sharon shoup
As the author is Swedish, it has a decidedly European flare in style as well as setting that the reader will find refreshing and honest.
TeensReadToo
I regrettably didn't check these out in advance.
ReadsALot

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on November 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Soon-to-be-12-year-old Joel Gustafson thinks life in his small Swedish community is pretty simple in September 1957. And it is. Joel has his father, his friends and his school. But then The Miracle happens, and Joel needs to find a way to do a good deed to show his thanks.

Joel first appeared in A BRIDGE TO THE STARS, where he learned that his father Samuel was finally moving on to a new life and girlfriend Sara after Joel's mother Jenny left them years ago. He also met Gertrud, a woman with no nose (as a result of an operation). After he played pranks on her and she confronted him, he realized what an interesting person she really was and they became friends.

In this follow-up novel, Joel is run over by a bus but is perfectly fine. His bag could have pulled him under the wheels, but somehow he ended up positioned in such a way that nothing happened to him. Everyone around him is now staring at him and giving him hugs --- including Samuel, Sara, Gertrud and even his teacher, who he didn't think was capable of hugs. His father plays their favorite game of sea adventures with him and even gives him a picture from when Samuel was younger and a sailor.

It was a Miracle. Now Joel thinks his soul is in trouble, because he and his father are not religious, and he needs to offer thanks in some way. He resolves to do a great big good deed, but it's hard to determine what to do and who to help. His only two friends are Simon Windstrom, a lonely old man who is a bit crazy, and Gertrud.

Ultimately he decides to help Gertrud meet that special someone. He sees a handsome man at the bar where Sara works and begins sending him and Gertrud letters inviting each other to meet. When that doesn't work, Joel tries again; he does not want Gertrud to be lonely.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ReadsALot on December 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm adding my rating to this book based upon a couple of other low reviews. If ever a book underscores the reason for these book reviews, this is it. I regrettably didn't check these out in advance.

One of the prior "2" reviewers questioned if this were a story written for young people; another noted they "couldn't get into it". Per the latter comment, I am with that reviewer 100%. I did not finish the book. Per the other commentary, in the first few pages or on the back as I recall, it is noted that it is intended for a younger readership but I didn't know that in advance. It also has some of the same elements of another book I read by Menkell that I thought was "quite odd" per one of the main characters. This explained that in restrospect.

If there had been a way to categorize this book more obviously per intended audience, I expect it may have had/have greater receptivity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Readers of Henning Mankell's A BRIDGE TO THE STARS will relish SHADOWS IN THE TWILIGHT, continuing the story of Joel Gustafson, his father and their friends in a new story of good deeds, divine intervention and putting the world right. A fine story evolves of discovery and change.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on October 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
SHADOWS IN THE TWILIGHT by Henning Mankell is written using the distinctive voice of the main character, Joel. This is a companion book to A BRIDGE TO THE STARS.

This is a story that asks philosophical questions and does it in a way everyone can understand. Best known for his crime novels for adults, Mankell will win the young adult reader over, as well. As the author is Swedish, it has a decidedly European flare in style as well as setting that the reader will find refreshing and honest.

Some of the questions addressed are faith, miracles, gender, and when to make the choice of staying silent or telling the truth. Told in the first person, the reader gets to see inside Joel's head and understand the questions and the changes in his life from the boy's perspective. It is a shrewdly told tale of a boy who thinks that he might have experienced divine intervention, and what happens when he tries to prove that he deserved said intervention through an elaborate scheme to do good.

Through the eyes of Joel we see a world created with magic, imagination, reality, and possible divinity. The reader becomes sucked into Joel's world to the point where nothing he says seems improbable, only interesting and special. It is a book that asks the big questions and does it creatively, beautifully, and interestingly.

Reviewed by: Christina Tsichlis
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You have to read all four of the novellas in this enchanting series by Henning Mankell. You'll fall for Joe Gustafson as he tries to understand the adult world he is about to enter.
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By karen on July 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mankell's books are always winners for me. Just an opportunity to drift off for a few hours into another world - much like watching a film - and generally written well in translation.
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