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Leap Hardcover – January 9, 2007

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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The School for Good and Evil: The Ever Never Handbook
The School for Good and Evil: The Ever Never Handbook
Wish you could go to the School for Good and Evil? Now you can! Join the ranks of heroes and villains who have walked these hallowed halls and mastered what it takes to be placed in their own fairy tales. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This sensitively wrought novel about growing pains shows how two sixth-graders in Flushing, Queens, rekindle an old friendship after a devastating accident. Through alternating viewpoints, Zalben (Hey, Mama Goose) offers an up-close, honest portrayal of her two main characters: Daniel, who is left partially paralyzed after having an allergic reaction to anesthesia, and Krista, who used to be close to Daniel but now is preoccupied with getting Daniel's best friend, Bobby, to notice her. As the story unfolds, the children's individual conflicts come to light. Daniel, once a champion swimmer, is frustrated with his slow progress in recovering the use of his legs and is distraught by his parents' bitterness towards Bobby's father (the dentist "responsible" for Daniel's paralysis). Family tensions go from bad to worse when Daniel's mother leaves the family to pursue her music dreams. Meanwhile, Krista experiences her own share of anger and dismay as she observes the blossoming romance between Bobby and another classmate, Lainie. As Daniel and Krista struggle to come to terms with changes in their lives, they find themselves drawn together. Krista agrees to help Daniel relearn how to swim and the two of them team up to work on a science project centered on a tadpole. The tadpole's metamorphosis neatly mirrors the children's internal growth as they come to terms with their losses and move forward. Eloquently expressing the power of hope and friendship, this story delivers an inspiring message. Ages 10-up. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–8—Daniel Rosen is paralyzed after a reaction to anesthesia for dental surgery, and he must learn to walk, run, and, most heart-wrenchingly for him, swim all over again. For added emotional tension, the doctor who completes the surgery is the father of his friend Bobby Kaufman. His former best friend, Krista Harris, is in love with Bobby, but Bobby is heavily in like with the sixth grade's own celebrity, Lainie Michaels. Zalben attempts to focus readers on the not-quite-over friendship between Daniel and Krista while also detailing the difficulties of Daniel's recovery, from using a walker to, potentially, competing at a swim meet. Each of the main characters also has internal family drama, including Daniel's mother, who leaves to find herself before her son is fully recovered. The author starts with a shaky, unclear premise and attempts far too much in this fairly short novel. What happened to Daniel and why and the prognosis for his recovery is not clearly explained to him, his friends, or readers. Also, these kids have more well-thought-out and expressed emotions than most seventh or eighth graders, much less sixth graders. The book has many strengths, particularly the characterizations of the parents, but as a whole it just doesn't come together.—Sarah Krygier, Solano County Library, Fairfield, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (January 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375838716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375838712
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,814,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Krista and Daniel were inseparable from the first day of kindergarten on. Swimming lessons, play dates, they did everything together. Until Valentine's Day in third grade. Krista got a box of chocolates and an unsigned love note. There's no way of knowing for sure who it came from, but Krista is convinced it was Bobby. It almost doesn't really even matter anymore because since that day, Krista has had the crush of her life on Bobby. Two-and-a-half years, and it hasn't gone away, and she's no closer to dating him than she was at the beginning. She should have asked Daniel about it back then, when should have equaled could have, when they were still best friends. But around the beginning of fourth grade it somehow became not cool to be best friends with someone of the opposite sex. So Krista found Sandy and Gina, and Daniel became best friends with Bobby. Krista still has the box and the note, though!

The day after the end of fifth grade changes everything for Daniel, and eventually for Krista, too. Daniel goes to have dental work done, and a freak accident happens. Now he'll need a lot of physical therapy to even get back to being functional. Who knows if he'll ever be able to be a competitive swimmer again? To make matters worse, his dentist was Bobby's dad. Which causes all sorts of problems. Add in his mom's inability to deal with the whole thing, and Daniel's not sure what his future looks like. It's a pretty tough thing to contemplate when you're only in sixth grade.

Krista vows to help her once best friend. But intending to and wanting to help are easier things to say than do. Does helping Daniel mean she's picking him over Bobby? What does helping, or not helping, say about her as a person? Why is it so hard to be around Daniel? How can she talk to him?
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Format: Hardcover
Leap is a perfect name for this novel about adolescents coming of age and making painful transitions in their lives. The story is told in two voices, Krista and Daniel's. These characters used to be inseparable until puberty got in the way. Now Krista has a crush on Daniel's one time best friend, Bobby, the school "hunk." In the summer before middle school, Daniel has a seemingly minor operation and ends up paralyzed. Bobby's father performed the operation, so Daniel and Bobby are no longer even speaking to each other. The book explores the themes of friendship, loyalty, and empathy as Daniel begins to heal from his injury and his friends rally to help him. Once he is on the road to recovery, his mother decides to leave the family to explore her own individuality, taking her own "leap." The characters are well drawn and the plot of the book is compelling. The situations the adolescents find themselves in accurately depict real life for middle school students. The characters do briefly refer to themselves as Jewish. In one incident in the novel, Krista refuses to get a tattoo because of her grandparents' concentration camp mark. Other than that the book is not overtly Jewish, but the major themes of compassion for those in need, responsibility for visiting the sick, and being a moral person are the backbone of this novel and speak directly to those looking for a book that exemplifies those mitzvot without preaching. Ages 10- 14.
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Format: Hardcover
Jane Broskin Zalben's LEAP tells of formerly inseparable friends affected by an accident which leaves one temporarily paralyzed. Daniel and Krista had drifted apart: now Krista might be the link Daniel needs to return to the world of normalcy. LEAP tells of changed friendships, romance, and idealistic visions, and is a moving story of change.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We enjoyed this book immensely! I read it with my preteen grandson. The characters were rich. The storyline believable and full of emotion. We liked how it was told from the point of view of two different characters. I would highly recommend it!
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