Elisa Carbone The Pack

ISBN 13: 9780142405352

The Pack

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9780142405352: The Pack

Becky is convinced that Akhil Vyas is the weirdest person on earth when he shows up in her English class. He refuses to sit in chairs, stares at her with spooky eyes, and has scar-covered skin. But soon Becky’s revulsion turns to fascination. The National Institutes of Health is studying Akhil, but he won’t say why—until something happens that makes him swear Becky and her friend Omar to secrecy. Suddenly Becky isn’t sure what’s more shocking—Akhil’s secret, or the chilling reason why he must reveal it. Elisa Carbone weaves a tale of intrigue that will enthrall any reader.

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About the Author:

Elisa Carbone taught in the Speech Communications department at the University of Maryland, but now she enjoys being a full-time writer and part-time rock climber, windsurfer, and white-water kayaker. “The physical exertion of the sports balances out the mental exertion of writing,” she says. She loves doing the research required to write historical fiction and is fascinated by the small details of everyday life in the past. Ms. Carbone’s Sarah books, Starting School with an Enemy and Sarah and the Naked Truth, have been praised for their accessibility to reluctant readers.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6-9-Becky, 15, is an overweight misfit at high school and Omar, her friend, is of mixed-race parentage. Into their lives comes a Hindu boy, Akhil Vyas, who has scars on his body, sits on the classroom floor, and simply walks out when something upsets him. Furthermore, he reveals that he is being studied at the National Institutes of Health, but he won't say why (until nearly the close of the book). As Becky and Omar get to know Akhil and form a bond with him, they are exposed to an older student's neo-Nazi ideas and hatred, and gradually realize that he may be planning a dramatic act of violence at school. From this point the story builds to an exciting and devastating climax. While Akhil's character is not entirely believable, this is a highly entertaining story. Becky and Omar are nicely developed characters, although Kyle is one-dimensional and an altogether evil presence. Akhil's early years, which have brought him to the NIH study, are described in such a way that readers will want to suspend disbelief. His ethic has been molded on that of a wild wolf pack, and there is much wolf lore integrated into the plot. An author's note elaborates on wolves and the inspiration for Akhil. Several Web sites dealing with school violence are also appended. This novel is an out-and-out suspense thriller with a twist; it should definitely appeal to reluctant readers.
Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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