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Monday, October 25, 2010

Student Review: The Splendor Falls (Clement-Moore)

Title: The Splendor Falls
Author: Rosemary Clement-Moore
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 513
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sylvie is a famous ballerina who lives in New York City. One night she falls onstage and breaks her leg in front of thousands of people. Sylvie is obviously unhappy so her mother sends her to live in Alabama with her dead father’s family. While in Alabama, Sylvie runs into some very suspicious things. There’s the Teen Town Council group, or the TTC, who she knows is up to no good. Also, there’s her cousin’s mysterious Welsh “friend” who says not to trust the TTC and knowing that she is the only one in her family that can see the ghosts. She watches the colonel looking after her and her family, the wail of her cousin, and a cry sounding like a baby. Sylvie is presented with not knowing what to do and who to confide in, if anybody. It doesn’t help when a flood is quickly arriving and threatens to take out her father’s family home. Sylvie is left wondering, are the ghosts real or is she going crazy?

I thought the theme of this book was to not be selfish and put nature and others before you. I picked this book while I was at the library and it looked like an unusual sort of book, like something I’d never read before. I think Sylvie is a very interesting character in the book. Sylvie is coping with a lot as she goes through this period in her life, with the breaking of her leg, and the recurring flashbacks of her dead father and the time they shared together. It made a very unique story, telling through her perspective.

I disliked, however, that it drug on at parts. The first hundred pages were pretty slow, but those were my only complaints. This book reminded me a lot of Harry Potter because it does have ghosts and witchcraft in it. I would recommend this book mostly to girls because it’s told through a girl’s perspective and Sylvie is a very girlie character.

And this book leaves me wondering, if you had a secret you could only tell one person, who would it be?
--Emily, 8th grade

Thanks Emily!  By the way, this book is nominated for YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults award (2011).  Since I am on the committee, I would love to know what other people think about this book as well!

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