Paperback, 208 pages
Okay, it’s been years since I read this, but I don’t remember the cover being quite as creepy as it is. Seriously. Look at those eyes.
Blake has always been the responsible one in the family, so when he’s invited to an after-hours carnival by a strange and beautiful woman with striking green eyes, he does the responsible thing and chooses not to go. But when his thrill-seeking younger brother Quinn does decide to go, it’s up to Blake to get him back. Little do they know that the carnival is haunted, no one knows where they are, and they just may not get out alive.
I read this novel because, when I was sitting next to Neal Shusterman at the New Mexico Library Association Conference in April 2009, he told a story about a teacher who bet a student $5 that they would like this novel. If the student disliked the novel, then the teacher would cough up the dough. As it turned out, the student liked the novel and the teacher didn’t lose any money. Of course, being the “extraordinary” reading teacher I am, I had to find out about this novel and see if I could entice my reluctant readers with the same bet. After finishing the novel, I’m fairly certain that many of my readers will enjoy it, if only for the intense ride the main character has to go on. They probably won’t get the allusions to famous places around the world, or some of the novels the main character read (like Melville’s Moby Dick), but even without that prior knowledge, students are in for an adventure.
Shusterman, N. (2004) Full Tilt. Simon Pulse.
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