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Slipping Hardcover – June 24, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1st edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599902583
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599902586
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,914,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In most ghost stories, a house is haunted, or perhaps an object, the echoes of past tragedies captured in musty rooms or a threadbare doll. In Bell's intense if uneven debut novel, however, the haunting occupies not so much a physical space as the broken bonds between fathers and sons.Thirteen-year-old Michael Kimmel's family is wealthy, but hardly comfortable, and in many senses undernourished. Facing an upcoming ballet recital, his older sister, Julia, is too nervous to eat—fearing that her daughter is anorexic, their mother stops eating in turn. Their overworked father thrives on protein shakes, perfectionism and canceling the family vacations at the last minute. Michael retreats from all this stress into the rule-governed chaos of video games.Then one night Michael's father comes home with cracks in his armor: My dad is someone who is never late, who is never wrong, who is never sad. But just then, he looked like he was maybe all three. Michael's grandfather is dead.The family's reaction is strangely muted. Michael hasn't seen his grandfather for years, since a break between father and son that he's too young to remember. But as in any ghost story, the past isn't dead. Soon the grandfather's spirit is haunting Michael, drawing him into a demimonde of the restless dead, where family history (and family secrets) are revealed.Being haunted is not healthy. Michael returns from these slips shaken and half-frozen. Without meaning to, his grandfather is sucking the life out of him.Ghosts, of course, always want something—the trick is finding out what. Ghost stories are puzzles, games played to uncover a hidden past. So it feels both inventive and logical when Michael approaches his haunting like a new video game.He collects an assortment of allies: his former best friend, his big sister, a bully, a paranormal geek and a professional psychic. He learns the rules of the afterlife, and braves deeper levels of his grandfather's memories. Ultimately, Michael discovers the roots of his unhappy relationship with his own father, and the truth of what the ghost is looking for.Bell's spare prose evokes a tightly wound family, and elegantly renders the world from Michael's gloomy, nescient point of view. But the book's paranormal set pieces often feel muddled—the mechanics and geography of the demimonde don't become clearer as the game is played. (There's a River of the Dead, and tunnels under the river, I think.) But the story succeeds in that its paranormal dynamics echo the real world's. Breaks between father and son, parent and child, do play out in the next generation. Families really are haunted by the past, in a way that houses are not.Scott Westerfeld is the author of the Uglies, Midnighters and Peeps series. His next book is Bogus to Bubbly, an Insider's Guide to the World of Uglies (Simon Pulse, Oct.).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–8—When his estranged grandfather passes away, Michael Kimmel, 13, begins to feel a weird eeriness that develops into moments where he "slips" into the world of his grandfather's memories. He begins to communicate with the deceased, learning more about his sad and dysfunctional relationship with his son, Michael's father. Each "slip" into the dead man's mind brings the teen dangerously closer to his own passing as he becomes increasingly unable to "slip" out of "the river of the dead." First-time author Bell has created a gripping supernatural fantasy and psychological drama, blending family controversies with coming-of-age issues of peer acceptance and success. Michael's concerns over his height and abilities on the basketball court are continually overshadowed by his own strained relationship with his demanding father. Michael is a well-developed protagonist balanced by four supporting roles: his older sister, Julia; best friend, Gus; and new friends Ewan and Trip, fleshing out a teen-centered story with adults clearly taking an ancillary role. Persuasive descriptions of Michael's physical pain and psychological exertions climax in a vivid death-defying scene. An interesting short addendum on the fact or fictions of "time slips" will keep readers wondering about the plausibility of a loved-one's connection between death and life.—Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

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SLIPPING is a book you just have to read.
AMK
The whole book was very touching, along with all of the crazy, intense moments.
TeensReadToo
I would recommend this book to all ages, and to my own kids.
jeanettegates

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karen on September 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book on my Kindle for my honeymoon simply because the reviews were decent and the price was low. I ended up reading it after my honeymoon was over, still...I found myself eager to get home after work each day, so that I could read more. I actually got through the entire book in about three days, and felt as if I went on an emotional journey as a read this book. As an adult, I think I appreciate this book more than if I were a teenager, having lost all but one of my grandparents, and having reflected back often on how my own parents were shaped by their parents.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. Scott on January 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My young nephew had just finished reading this book. I asked him, "Did you like it?" He said, "It's good." Which for him is a rave review. I picked it up and, as they say, I couldn't put it down. There are so many funny observations about people and family life, it had me chuckling, page after page. The young narrator writes, "I guess I take after my mom... she never does the dishes until it comes time to actually use the plates... One of my mom's jokes is to call our stack of take-out menus her cookbook." By the time the supernatural stuff started, I was hooked. (And, thank god, the ghostly time-travel stuff is anchored so deeply in the real world, I stuck with it and began to really enjoy it, even though I usually flinch from fantasy.) This is such a well-written and delightful story. I look forward to the author's next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spinladytwo on February 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Slipping is a very enjoyable book and I am no where near my teenage years. The concept is very adult without being unsuitable for teens.

Delving into a possible scenario of what happens after death without a religious slant, this book gives you a lot to think about.

It's the story of a boy that really didn't get to know his grandfather until after he passes. It certainly makes you aware of your life and consider what you may be missing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By purplemaron on January 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I truly enjoyed this book. I love paranormal, metaphysics type of books. I have read a lot and never came across slipping. The pace of the book was perfect. The message of the book was some thing that makes you think. I like how he pulled friends and family to help out. I will definite try to find out more about slipping.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jeanettegates on January 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was impossible to put down. It made me wonder if there really is a "river" , or Fluvious. I would recommend this book to all ages, and to my own kids. If you like ghost stories that touch on reality this book is for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laura L. Delp on January 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Haunting and thoughtful. The author's insight into the psych
of a young man and the father he wants to understand. is dead on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michele Guyor Borthwick on January 17, 2013
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I had a hard time putting this book down! I wish we could see into each other just a little bit like Michael does.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maura Bridger on October 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was

charming and told from a 13 year old girls perspective.Very sweet with a twist of scary. The author makes the combination work.
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