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Before Wings
By author: Beth Goobie
Selling Points: "summer camp, brain aneurysm, death, illness"
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Aug/01/2001
Lexile Level: 690
Pages: 210
Fiction Ages 12+
Price:  $15.00
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The spirits were moaning, a low sound that seemed to be calling the storm toward the beach where Adrien came to a halt, pushing to stay erect in the wind. She was sure the spirits were calling something specific—a short phrase, several words, repeated like the lightning that snaked in the sky. Another sheer burst of white and Adrien stepped forward into the wild lake, the call of the spirit girls, the energy of their brains dying across the sky. Into some understood sameness.

Having barely survived a brain aneurysm two years earlier, fifteen-year-old Adrien, working at her Aunt Erin's summer camp, is caught between the land of the living and the spirit world, unsure where she belongs. As she struggles to understand the message delivered by the spirits of the five young women that only she sees, she learns of the tragic consequences of their connection to her aunt. Faced with the knowledge that another aneurysm could strike her at any time and mostly shunned by the other staff because she is the boss's niece, Adrien finds a soulmate in Paul, the camp handyman, who is convinced that he has seen his own death foretold.
School Library Journal - September 1, 2001
"Engaging characters, realistic setting, and upbeat ending will satisfy teen readers."
The Bloomsbury Review - July 1, 2001
"Beth Goobie unites her intense poetic ability with a fascinating plot that compels the reader to love, hate, and relate to each of the characters as they grow and change."
Rambles - June 14, 2001
"Powerful, sensual, thought-provoking and most of all, refreshingly original. Read it and let your imagination fly free."
VOYA - April 1, 2001
"Richly sensuous descriptions evoke alternating shivers of fear and excitement...will leave readers breathless!"
Booklist - March 15, 2001
"Full of magic realism and beautifully written."
Horn Book Magazine - March 1, 2001
"The aura of mystery and romance is aptly melded to the heady joys and secrets of summer camp."
KLIATT - March 1, 2001
"This is a dark but gripping story, with a lot going on to draw in readers."
CM Magazine - February 16, 2001
"Masterfully written and a great read."
CITY Parent - November 1, 2000
"Goobie uses poetic language and well-realized characterization in this gripping story to recreate the intensity with which a teen lives life and...comes to terms with the possibility of death."
Quill & Quire - October 1, 2000
"Assured and flexible. She masters both edgy, abbreviated repartee of teenagers and a lyrical prose style for describing mystical experience."
Children's Book News - September 1, 2000
"Offers remarkable insight and raw, true emotion for readers who find themselves grappling with more than the usual load of teen troubles." "The book can rightfully be called inspirational."
Resource Links - September 1, 2000
"This book is good. Very, very good. Buy it, read it, recommend it. As a general rule, I make very sparing use of the 'Excellent' rating, however, Goobie's latest young adult offering deserves no less."
The Alan Review - September 1, 2000
"Besides a good read, there is much to explore in this novel."


ALA Best Books for Young Adults, long-listed  US  2002
ALA Michael L. Printz Award nominee, long-listed  US  2001
ALA Popular Paperbacks , long-listed  US  2001
CCBC Our Choice starred selection, commended  CA  2001
CLA Young Adult Book Award, winner  CA  2001
Governor General's Literary Award - Children's Text nominee, short-listed  CA  2001
Mr. Christie's Book Award, winner  CA  2001
PSLA Top Forty, commended  US  2004
Saskatchewan Book Award, winner  CA  2001
Sunburst Award nominee, short-listed  CA  2001
SYRCA Snow Willow nominee, short-listed  CA  2002
Resource Links "The Year's Best", commended  CA  2000
YALSA Teens' Top Ten nominee, short-listed  US  2001

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