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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Clean. There is a name written on the inside front cover. Cover shows some wear. Great Binding.
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First Light Paperback – October 14, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The father of 12-year-old Peter is a glaciologist, his mother, a genetic scientist. Peter is thrilled when his father decides to take the family on his latest excursion to Greenland to study the effects of global warming. Fourteen-year-old Thea lives in a secret society called Gracehope under the Greenland ice. After finding a map that leads her to the surface, she becomes obsessed with seeing the sun and bringing her people back above ground. Peter and Thea accidentally meet on the surface and discover, through a secret kept by Peter's mother, that their destinies are unexpectedly joined. This debut novel is slow to start, and Stead's world building isn't quite convincing. There are some gaps in Gracehope's invented mythology, and the motivations behind the creation of the underground utopia are vague and simplistic. But the icy setting and global-warming theme are well realized, and middle-school fans of Neil Shusterman's Downsiders (2000) and Jeanne DuPrau's Books of Ember will also enjoy this solid, well-meaning fantasy. Jennifer Hubert
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Peter and Thea are vividly realized. . . . Gracehope itself is sketched with sure strokes, its icy setting and its matriarchal social structure fresh and believable.”—The Horn Book Magazine

“Stead’s debut novel rests on an intriguing premise. . . . It is a testament to the storytelling that the existence of this parallel world and the convergence of Peter and Thea’s stories, told in separate chapters, are both credible and absorbing. Young readers will find this a journey worth taking.”—Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (October 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440422221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440422228
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. K. Messner on March 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
First Light was hard for me to put down. Peter Solemn's world is rocked in the very first chapter when his father, a glaciologist, announces the family is going on a research trip to Greenland. Two chapters later, we meet a second main character, Thea, who lives under the arctic ice in a society created generations ago by a group of people fleeing persecution in Europe.

What I loved most about this book was that it plunged me into not just one, but two fascinating new worlds. Greenland itself really qualifies as an alien landscape of sorts, and Stead's rich details bring it to life. (Is there really a Volkswagon Road there where the company tests new models? So cool!) Thea's world beneath the ice is painted vividly as well with terrific techno-details about the innovations of that new society called Gracehope. I've added Gracehope to the list of imaginary places (along with Hogwarts and Narnia) that I long to visit some day.

I'm not giving too much away if I share that Peter and Thea cross paths along the way. Their stories intertwine in ways that are surprising but perfect and believable at the same time. First Light is a great read -- a fantastic mix of science fiction and adventure with plenty of real science mixed in, too. Teachers looking for titles to integrate with earth science and environmental units will especially love this one.
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Format: Hardcover
First Light by Rebecca Stead is told by two narrators. The first, Peter, is the son of a glaciologist and a genetic scientist. He is thrilled when his parents decide to take him on an expedition to Greenland, where they will be studying different aspects of glacier ice caps and the effects of global warming. Thea, the other narrator, lives in a city underneath the ice in Greenland, called Gracehope. Thea and Peter meet accidentally and without warning, the two worlds collide in what could be disaster.

The novel was a bit slow in the beginning, but picked up in pace and excitement towards the middle. The was very reminiscent of Jeanne DuPrau's City of Ember books, though I almost liked the setting in First Light better. It has been said that people can really survive surrounded by ice...so who knows if there really is a Gracehope out there! :-)

I was a little disappointed in this title, though I very much enjoyed it...it just wasn't quite as fabulous as everyone has said. I think that's why I would much rather read a book before so many other people get their hands on it, that way my view isn't skewed and I don't get my expectations too high! At any rate, I still enjoyed the book, it was well written and I look forward to seeing other works from this author.
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Format: Hardcover
Sometimes I stop myself in the middle of the day and think random thoughts. Thoughts like, "Why am I so freaked out by pigeons with deformed feet?" or, "Is there a logical reason why grass never became a delicacy?" and even, "Did I like science fiction as a child?" That last question pops up more than the others, maybe because it's worth pondering from a contemporary marketing/librarian standpoint. The conventional wisdom will tell you that science fiction for kids doesn't sell. Of course, dig a little deeper beneath that statement and you'll find exceptions to the rule. Bruce Coville's My Teacher Is an Alien series, Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time or The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau all come to mind. DuPrau's book is the best example of a successful science fiction novel (what with the movie and all) and it seems appropriate to mention it in terms of the most recent title I just read. "First Light" by Rebecca Stead is a meticulous melding of science fiction, ecological fact, and crisp storytelling. Melding global warming and DNA, and set against a magnificently chilly backdrop, Stead creates a cohesive, gripping story without allowing her book to fall apart into incomprehensible goo.

Two kids. Two lives. First of all you have Peter. He's happy enough living in New York City, but when his dad informs the family that they're taking some months off to join him on his expedition to Greenland, the kid is seriously excited. It's a pity that he's been getting these headaches though.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was well written and you can't help but love the characters. It hovered between being very real and very absurd. Could place like this exist? It wasn't otherworldly enough to be really science fictionalize, and yet had to be science fiction after all.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Prequel to the City of Amber series by another author. I liked this one better. I wonder why one book seems to make it to "star" status, and another that is equally good does not.

Regarding the Kindle version, there were many missing spaces between words, added spaces between letters of words, etc.. It was definitely amateurish.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I know I'm kinda late with this review - considering all the other reviews were years ago - Yet, I finished this book recently and Wow! what a thrilling read!
I absolutely enjoyed First Light, and I must admit that Peter and Thea were both captivating characters. The journey to Greenland was captivating, and the
underground Journey through Thea's homeland was astonishing! I also loved that Thea finally discovered the 'outside world!'

Therefore, I found it interesting how Rebecca Stead used 'Global Warming' in this book with a fresh, new perspective.

Great read! Great author!

- Joseph
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