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First Light Paperback – October 14, 2008
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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.
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Book Sense Children’s Pick
A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
A Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year—Outstanding Merit
An IRA-CBC Notable Book
A Parents’ Choice Award Winner
Named to Multiple State Award Lists
“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
Top customer reviews
I was amazed at how somebody could write a book like this, it would have taken a lot of imagination and thinking. I don’t think I would ever have as much imagination as Rebecca Stead had to right that book. If you love reading books then First Light is a must read, it’s a book in a category of its own. I felt like I was in a dream while reading this book. I hope you feel the same when you read it. This book is too good to be rated only 5 stars so I’ll have to give it a ten or more.
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!