Juvenile Frances Hardinge Fly by Night

ISBN 13: 9780060876272

Fly by Night

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9780060876272: Fly by Night

Twelve-year-old Mosca Mye hasn't got much. Her cruel uncle keeps her locked up in his mill, and her only friend is her pet goose, Saracen, who'll bite anything that crosses his path. But she does have one small, rare thing: the ability to read. She doesn't know it yet, but in a world where books are dangerous things, this gift will change her life.

Enter Eponymous Clent, a smooth-talking con man who seems to love words nearly as much as Mosca herself. Soon Mosca and Clent are living a life of deceit and danger -- discovering secret societies, following shady characters onto floating coffeehouses, and entangling themselves with crazed dukes and double-crossing racketeers. It would be exactly the kind of tale Mosca has always longed to take part in, until she learns that her one true love -- words -- may be the death of her.

Fly by Night is astonishingly original, a grand feat of the imagination from a masterful new storyteller.

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About the Author:

Frances Hardinge spent her childhood in a huge, isolated old house in a small, strange village, and the two things inspired her to write strange, magical stories from an early age. She studied English at Oxford University and was bullied by a persis-tent friend into letting a publisher read the opening chapters of Fly By night, her first novel, an astonishing literary debut and work of the imagination that was short-listed for the Guardian Award. She lives in Oxford, England.

From School Library Journal:

Starred Review. Grade 5-9–Mosca, 12, and Eponymous Clent, a traveling wordsmith of dubious repute, become immersed in the intrigues of the city of Mandelion, where rival guilds vie for power with a pixilated Duke and his scheming sister. Initially awed by her confusing new surroundings, Mosca gradually pieces together important truths about the realm and her place within it. Through rich, colorful language and a sure sense of plot and pacing, Hardinge has created a distinctly imaginative world full of engaging characters, robust humor, and true suspense. Readers get to know the realm and its people through the interactions between Mosca and a well-drawn cast of supporting characters. While she tries to judge right from wrong within the complex plots that ensnare her, she finds that few of the people she meets are as simple as they first seem. Vying religious beliefs also play a part in the fate of the realm, and the details develop neatly as the adventures progress. Plot twists, lively dialogue, and the antics of Mosca's fierce pet goose add plenty of humor. The conclusion addresses the value of words in a satisfying manner. This sophisticated tale is not for everyone. Some readers may struggle to keep track of the complex politics, history, and religion in Mosca's world, but those who appreciate the inventive plots of Cornelia Funke and Jonathan Stroud or Lloyd Alexander's colorful prose should thoroughly enjoy this highly original adventure.–Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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