24 Hours by Margaret Mahy

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It is seventeen-year-old Ellis's first night at home after graduating from prep school. By chance he bumps into Jackie Cattle, whom he remembers from grade school. Jackie is a couple of years older than Ellis, a drifter, disreputable, yet with an odd charm and a disarming wit.

For the next twenty-four hours, Ellis enters an extraordinary world on the fringe of society that he never knew existed. Jackie introduces him to life at the Land-of-Smiles, a dilapidated motel where nightly a strange collection of local characters gather to drink and talk. Two attractive sisters, Ursa and Leona, the elder studying to be a lawyer, live there. Leona loves and takes care of a baby whose mother stops in only once in a while. Then the baby disappears, and Ellis is thrust into a wild, sometimes almost violent search for the child.

This is a stunning novel that grips the reader as it sweeps to its conclusion. Rich characterization, breathtaking action, and an ultimately heartwarming solution distinguish this latest triumph of Margaret Mahy.


About Margaret Mahy

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-->Margaret Mahy has lived in New Zealand her entire life.? A former children's librarian, she decided to become a full-time writer in 1980. From picture books to YA novels, the age groups for which she writes vary as much as the characters in her stories. She won the British Library Association's Carnegie medal for -->The Haunting" and -->The Changeover: A Supernatural Romance." She has also written such books as -->Alchemy "and -->Maddigan's Fantasia. "An author whose books have received many accolades and praise around the world, Mahy was awarded the Order of New Zealand, the highest honor a citizen of that country can receive, and in 2006 she was announced the winner of the International Board on Books for Young People's Hans Christian Andersen Award, given to a living author whose works have made a lasting contribution to children's literature.
Published January 1, 2000 by COLLINS. 192 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Jackie Cattle, a few years older and a shady character, convinces Ellis to drive him to a party in a wealthy suburb, and as they crash the party, Ellis wonders what Jackie is up to.

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Publishers Weekly

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An aspiring actor, newly graduated from prep school, runs into an old school chum who leads him on a 24-hour escapade into a very different social stratum.

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Teen Reads

The events will hold you spellbound as you read on to find out what changes each new hour will bring about in Ellis's life.

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