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The Exceptionals Hardcover – February 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823423352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823423354
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #538,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Named a Bankstreet Best Children's Book of the Year!

Debut novelist Cashman delivers an engaging, exciting twist on the school story, introducing readers to a whole new set of supernatural skills and adventures. With its varied and intriguing cast of characters, The Exceptionals will appeal to a wide range of readers, all of whom will be eager to see if there will be forthcoming adventures at Cambial Academy. --School Library Journal

Cashman knows how to craft natural dialogue and empathetic characters. --Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Erin Cashman graduated from Bates College with a degree in English and from Boston College Law School. She lives in Massachusetts.

More About the Author

Erin Cashman's debut novel, The Exceptionals, was named a Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book, and was widely praised by reviewers, libraries and book bloggers alike. School Library Journal said "The Exceptionals will appeal to a wide range of readers, all of whom will be eager to see if there will be forthcoming adventures at Cambial Academy." The Exceptionals was a featured book at YA Books Central, which said "The story kept my interest and is a solid debut. I'm looking forward to the sequel." While SWON Libraries Consortium raved "I highly recommend this book because a wide range of ages (11 and up) and audiences could enjoy this read and relate to the story and characters. Its a fantastical coming of age story..." Erin graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Bates College and from Boston College Law School. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 59 customer reviews
The cast of characters were great and I really liked Claire.
Kelly O'C
I was immediately engrossed in the characters of the story and the plot's twists and turns.
Janet Maxwell
I would highly recommend this book for lovers of fantasy, romance or adventure books.
charlotte arnold

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Leigh A Hesler on February 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of fantasy, so I was completely intrigued when I went on Erin Cashman's website and read that she got the idea for her book, The Exceptionals, when she heard that people only use 10% of their brain power and wondered what would happen if they could use more. What an interestiong premise. So I picked it up hoping I wasn't going to be disappointed.

I wasn't.

The novel is so unique because the students at Cambial Academy don't have supernatural abilities. They aren't witches, wizards, vampires or werewolves. Are they gifted? Yes. The next step in evolution? Who knows? The author doesn't spoon feed it to the reader and I love that. Not everything is spelled out. So some kids practice telekinesis, others communicate with ghosts - and here's something unexpected - some kids are math and science geniuses! Claire's special, which she ignores since she can't prove it, is that she can hear the thoughts of animals.

After her tough mother (on her website Erin Cashman says she imagined what Professor McGonagall would be like as a mother, and that's how she came up with her character) makes Claire transfer to Cambial, strange things start to happen and she must try to develop her power in order to help. The scenes with Claire and Ferana and Talrin (the hawks) are so beautifully written. What could be goofy or awkward is wonderful.

There are a lot of great things about this book. To begin with, it is really well written. It brought Cambial Academy, which is a magical place, to life. There are plenty of twists and turns - Erin Cashman is great at building suspense. There is a little romance between Claire and Dylan while Claire's other friends are very unique. Winny is hysterical, Ally is insightful, Billy is brave and loyal and Henry is a courageous nerd. But it's Claire's story and I was rooting for her, flaws and all, from the beginning to the end of the book. I would highly recommend The Exceptionals!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Julie Wu on May 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son devoured the Harry Potter series and has been on a continuous loop of Rick Riordan, Big Nate, and Wimpy Kid books. I've tried many books to break his cycle (Ranger's Apprentice, How to Train a Dragon, etc.) and the only one that made an inroad was this book! I wouldn't have thought to suggest it to him, as it has a female protagonist, but he loved this book, read it very quickly, and was totally pumped up by the ending. The only thing he didn't like was that there isn't a sequel. Hopefully that will soon be rectified!
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Format: Hardcover
If you like Young Adult Fiction, then this is a great book to pick up. It is a coming of age story about a girl with an unusual gift that to her, seems rather useless. She attends a school for people with special abilities but hides the fact that she even has her own "special." She is surrounded by extremely gifted friends and family who have powerful specials. But she discovers that by using her unique ability, she can save the school, her family, and her friends.

Cashman is a pretty good writer. I liked her style. It took me about 1/3 of the book to really get into it, but after that, I looked forward to sneaking moments here and there to read it.

The only reason I didn't give this book 5 out of 5 stars is because, while I enjoyed the story, it didn't seem so original to me. In a nutshell, it is about someone with special abilities who attends a special school that is under attack by a former disgruntled student. I feel like I have read a lot of books with a similar premise. I did, however, like the fact that these characters aren't supernatural, but rather they have the ability to use more of their brains than the average person. If you are looking for a quick, fun, easy read, then the Exceptionals is a good choice.

Thanks go to Heather for this review.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By juliahutton on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Erin Cashman has done a superb job with her first book. The suspense and plot kept me hungry to keep reading while the character development was detailed and well written. As a middle school teacher, I know how hard it can be to get students interested in reading. I will certainly be reccommending the Exceptionals to my students. Claire, Camibal Academy and all the suspense and adventure that unravels within will certainly engage many a "non reader".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Evie Seo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Featuring cool superpowers and extraordinary abilities, secrets, prophecies and dangerous quests, The Exceptionals is a greatly enjoyable and thoroughly captivating novel. It's well-written and emotionally engaging. Fast moving. Fresh. Most of all, though, it's just insanely entertaining and fun to read. Erin Cashman is an exciting new voice and she delivers a fantastic YA paranormal debut, and one that is sure to satisfy your craving for action and adventure.

Fifteen-year-old Claire comes from a family of talented people, and by talented I mean people with special abilities, not just someone who is good at playing flute or draws beautiful pictures. Her mom is a truth seeker, she can tell what you're thinking almost as if she was reading your mind like an open book. Her dad is a brilliant mathematician and a code breaker, and he can count and code faster than any computer. Her brother, Billy, is telekinetic, albeit not a very talented one (he can only move small objects), and her sister, Charlotte, can communicate with the dead. Claire's parents run the Cambial Academy, a school that helps people with "talents" develop and strengthen their abilities, and when Claire gets into trouble with her high school friends, they make the decision to transfer her there (just to keep an eye on her at all times). Claire, too, has a special ability, though she isn't at all proud of it. She can hear the thoughts of animals. The problem is.. animals don't talk too much, it's mostly "hungry" or "thirsty" all the time, and Claire is too embarrassed by her useless talent to even admit to having it. She keeps it a secret. After all, how could she even think about competing with the most talented students at Cambial, the Exceptionals?
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