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The Face in the Mirror Hardcover – October 1, 1998

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This ghost yarn offers little in the way of thrills and chills, but its theater-world setting may entice stagestruck readers. Fifteen-year-old Jared spends the summer with the father he's never met?a Hollywood director whose regional Shakespeare company is opening its inaugural season with a production of Richard III done like Star Wars. Despite the doubtful merit of this conceit, it gives Jared, cast as one of the ill-fated princes, an opportunity to play expert with his knowledge of Star Wars, and it may also offer readers a tool to apprehend the play's themes. The dialogue is studded with stage jargon, and Jared's emerging love of acting is rendered convincingly. But while Jared's conflicted relationships with his father and Tad, his film-star half-brother, are full of potential drama, Tolan (Save Halloween!) shows these motifs less attention than a hoary, obvious subplot about the ghost of an actor who died in the theater years ago. Jared befriends the ghost and uses him to play a series of unpleasant practical jokes on the cast and crew. When the ghost reveals himself as a murderous lush, seemingly because he suddenly feels like explaining himself, Jared must keep him from killing Tad. The split focus of this ghost-story/theatrical family drama dims the luster of both halves. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-Sibling rivalry gets a pretty nasty portrayal in this theatrical ghost tale. Jared, a young teen with divorced, self-absorbed actor parents, has been raised by a grandfather who is becoming frail. Armed with little but Pop's words of wisdom, the boy is bundled off to Michigan to live with the father he has never met and his second wife. They are starting up a new Shakespeare company in a historic theater that soon proves to be haunted by the apparently playful ghost of a 19th-century actor, Garrick Marsden. As the company rehearses the first production, Richard III, Jared is bitten hard by the acting bug while working on his first role, the older of the young princes in the tower. The other is played by his younger half-brother, Tad, a spoiled but talented child who is struggling with an awkward adolescence. The unpleasant rivalry of the brothers escalates and leads to problems on stage. Add this to the increasingly malevolent pranks of the ghost and the production is seriously jeopardized. When Marsden, who has befriended Jared, uses him as a pawn in a plan to smother Tad during a performance, Jared must act quickly. The family relationships are self-centered and shallow and Jared is pretty one-dimensional but the theater and Marsden's history and evil intent take center stage and keep the story moving. This hasn't the depth of Tolan's Save Halloween! (1993) or Welcome to the Ark (1996, both Morrow) but should be fun for theater buffs.
Sally Margolis, Barton Public Library, VT
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688153941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688153946
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,749,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Product is well made and arrived quickly from shipper.
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By A Customer on June 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
When I finished reading "the ark" I just sat on my bed, almost in awe, this story is so real, its a slap in the face for sure. I thought this book was amazing and the Author had pure talent. It's the best book I have ever read.
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