Phoenix Rising by Karen Hesse

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Synopsis

Nyle's life with her grandmother on their Vermont sheep farm advances rhythmically through the seasons until the night of the accident at the Cookshire nuclear power plant. Without warning, Nyle's modest world fills with protective masks, evacuations, contaminated food, disruptions, and mistrust.

Nyle adjusts to the changes. As long as the fallout continues blowing to the East, Nyle, Gran, and the farm can go on. But into this uncertain haven stumble Ezra Trent and his mother, "refugees" from the heart of the accident, who take temporary shelter in the back bedroom of Nyle's house.

The back bedroom is the dying room: It took her mother when Nyle was six; it stole away her grandfather just two years ago. Now Ezra is back there and Nyle doesn't want to open her heart to him. Too many times she's let people in, only to have them desert her.

Karen Hesse's voice and vision are grounded in truth; she takes on a nearly unharnessable subject, contains it, and makes it resonate with honesty. Part love story, part coming of age, this is a tour de force by a gifted writer.

 

About Karen Hesse

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KAREN HESSE is the winner of the MacArthur Genius Award, and the acclaimed author of more than twenty books for children, including Brooklyn Bridge and Out of the Dust, a Newbery Medal Winner. She has received numerous honors for her writing. She lives in Brattleboro, Vermont.
 
Published February 17, 2009 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). 196 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Phoenix Rising

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When Nyle compares Ezra's courage to Anne Frank's he cries out, ``Do I have to die in the end too so people won't forget what I died for?'' The answer is almost inevitable;

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Publishers Weekly

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After a catastrophic accident at a nuclear power plant not far from their small New England sheep farm, 13-year-old Nyle Sumner and her grandmother slowly discover they have been spared from direct ra

Jun 13 1994 | Read Full Review of Phoenix Rising

Publishers Weekly

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In a starred review, PW noted that ``the author's understated approach heightens the emotional impact'' of this tale about a girl forced to confront loss after a nuclear accident.

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Publishers Weekly

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As if to counteract the potential for sensationalism or dystopic fantasy, Hesse ( Letters from Rifka ) grounds her story with keen observations of the natural world--e.g., Nyle describes training a sheep dog, working in the pasture, farm work (``I like spring .

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Reader Rating for Phoenix Rising
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