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  • An African Alphabet
  • Wolf Island

By author: Norah McClintock
Selling Points: "identity, crime, relationships"
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Oct/01/2010
Lexile Level: HL650L
Fry Reading Level: 3.2
Pages: 128
Fiction Ages 12+
Price:  $9.95
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There's a masked man in the store, and it isn't Halloween.
I duck down again—fast.
I hear someone say, "This is a stickup." It's the guy in the mask. He has a weird voice, like it's not a normal voice. He says, "Is there anyone else in the store?"
That tells me that the masked man hasn't seen me.
"No," my dad says without even a second's hesitation.

When Daniel enters a convenience store on a secret mission, he doesn't expect to run into anyone he knows. That would ruin everything. And when Rosie enters the same store to see what her father wants, she's hoping to make a quick getaway with her waiting boyfriend.

All Daniel and Rosie want is to get in and out without any trouble. Neither expects what happens next. A masked man enters the store.

"This is a stickup," he announces. He has a gun and isn't afraid to use it. When he's ready to leave, he decides to take Rosie hostage.

And then things get complicated…
The Horn Book Guide - April 1, 2011
"The short chapters are appropriately tense and suspenseful, and the novel does provide some unexpected twists."
Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media - April 1, 2011
"Teens will like the cover and the action."
Tri State YA Book Review Committee - January 1, 2011
"As with all the Orca Soundings books, this novel succeeds on many levels. The pace is breakneck...taking numerous twists and turns...and ending in a satisfying denouement...A little mystery, a strange kind of romance, and a non-stop thriller. What more could reluctant readers want? Buy this for your older reluctant readers. They will not be able to put it down."
School Library Journal - January 1, 2011
"There is suspense to keep reluctant readers interested...[A] nice surprise is the lack of foul language, even though an armed crime is taking place. Of course, secrets are revealed, and Leon's tale is particularly tragic."
Resource Links - December 1, 2010
"Each new perspective adds an insightful layer to the story leading to an unexpected plot twist…The characters are all interesting and believable…Would be good as a class novel as it has a range of characters with problems that everyone can relate to."
Booklist - November 15, 2010
"Tight plotting, swift pacing, and tension that intensifies with each page turn mark this entry in the always reliable Orca Soundings series for reluctant readers…With scarcely an extraneous word, McClintock keeps the suspense at a roiling simmer, doling out pieces of crucial information that twist the crime drama into a doomed love tangle, capped by an arresting and satisfying conclusion."
CM Magazine - September 24, 2010
"McClintock is a master of mystery and crime…Readers will be drawn into the lives of the characters and gripped with the electric plot and unexpected twists…Masked is exceptional in its ability to capture a dramatic and tragically life-changing story for so many characters in little more than 100 pages. Highly Recommended."


Resource Links "The Year's Best", commended  CA  2010
YALSA Quick Picks nominee, short-listed  US  2012


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Teen fiction for
reluctant readers

Key Features:
Short, high-interest novels
Contemporary stories
Compelling characters
Linear plots
Ideal for Lit Circles
Ideal for Independent Reading

Teaching Resources:
Teachers' Guides
Resource Guide
Accelerated Reader selections
Lexile levels

Paperbacks: $9.95

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