The Last Safe Place on Earth by Richard Peck

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Synopsis

Walden Woods looks like the perfect place to be a 10th grader–especially from Todd’s house on Tranquility Lane. He’s even found the perfect girl, the mysterious Laurel. But when something frightens his little sister so that she has nightmares, and a parent group tries to ban “evil” books from the school libraries, Todd begins to wonder what dark forces are at work in this “ideal” community.

A provocative new novel by a highly honored author that speaks to today's issues of censorship and fundamentalism.
 

About Richard Peck

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Richard Peck was born in Decatur, Illinois on April 5, 1934. He received a bachelor's degree in English from DePauw University in 1956. After college, he was drafted into the army and served as a soldier in Germany, ghost-writing sermons for chaplains. After the war, he became an English teacher, lecturing to middle school students in Illinois and New York City. While still teaching, he wrote a column on the architecture of historic neighborhoods for the New York Times and contributed articles to the Saturday Review of Literature and the Chicago Tribune as well as other magazines and newspapers. Peck quit teaching on May 2, 1971. He went home and started writing right away. He wrote his first novel, Don't Look and It Won't Hurt, and brought it to Holt, Rinehart and Winston (now Henry Holt). An editor called him on the following morning to say it had been accepted and they wanted a second novel. He has written more than 30 books for both adults and young adults. A Year down Yonder won the Newbery Medal in 2001 and Are You in the House Alone? won an Edgar Award. In 1990, Richard Peck received the MAE Award, a prestigious award sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association in cooperation with School Library Journal. His books have also received or been finalists for the National Book Award, ALA Notable Books, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and the Margaret A. Edwards Award.
 
Published March 1, 1995 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. 161 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Last Safe Place on Earth

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High- school sophomore Todd Tobin, who narrates, discovers the madness in his own home where his little sister, Marnie, has been brainwashed by her fundamentalist babysitter, Laurel.

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Publishers Weekly

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Fifteen-year-old Todd's dreams of a girlfriend seem on the verge of coming true when demure Laurel, a new student, becomes his kid sister Marnie's regular baby-sitter. But sweet-seeming Laurel has a s

Jan 30 1995 | Read Full Review of The Last Safe Place on Earth

Publishers Weekly

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Fifteen-year-old Todd sets out to undo the workings of an extremist religious group;

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Publishers Weekly

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As Peck's (Unfinished Portrait of Jessica) taut, suspenseful novel gradually reveals, Laurel's family belongs to a Christian group that seeks to ban Halloween traditions (``It is dangerous enough that children are brainwashed by the supernatural, witchcraft, devil worship, and heathen decorations...

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