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Haddix, Margaret Peterson.
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2005.
IL 5-8, RL 5-8
ISBN 0689873743

(3 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews


Booktalk #1

Bethany's parents have always been a bit too protective of her but this is taking it too far.  They have packed up her stuff and leave her with a complete stranger.  They tell her that she will be safe and they'll get in touch in a few days.  How wierd is that?  What is going on?  She finds out that the woman is actually an aunt that she never knew existed.  And the people in town seem to think that Bethany is someone named Elizabeth.  Who is Elizabeth?  As the days go on, Bethany learns a secret that makes her question everything she has ever known about herself and her parents.

Booktalk #2

Thirteen-year-old Bethany is suddenly dropped off at her auntís house, in the middle of the night, by her parents. She has never met this aunt. Bethany is not allowed to see or call her parents. She discovers that she has a cousin Jose. Her aunt and cousin reveal a family secret. The two families had gone to Stone Mountain Amusement Park for the day. On the way home, there was a terrible accident and Bethanyís older sister and Joseís father were killed. Now there is a man who is chasing Bethany. Bethany is sure that is the reason her parents have disappeared. Read the book to find out why Bethany is here and why the mysterious man is chasing Bethany.  (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2007-2008)

Booktalk #3

Thirteen-year old Bethany doesn't know where her father is taking her mother and her. All she knows at this very moment is that her mother has been crying the entire car ride, and her father, silent like a tomb, is driving her to this remote residential neighborhood across several state lines. To be driving for hours with your and your parents' suitcases is one thing, but to be dropped off suddenly at your aunt's house, one you never met, in the middle of the night, is completely different.
Bethany doesn't know what she did to make her parents so upset they would want to leave her at her Aunt Myrlie's house in Sanderfield, Illinois without giving her a reason. But overhearing her father mention the name, Elizabeth, to Aunt Myrlie late that night, has made her very curious. Aunt Myrlie is telling her she is not supposed to contact her parents or see anyone at all--her father's orders. She knows her parents have never been quite normal, seemingly protecting her at all times, and giving her old fashioned toys when she was younger. Other kids used to say she was very spoiled. But getting the chance to dial her parents' phone number from Myrlie's house, and getting the message, "We are sorry. This phone number is out of service", makes her feel a sudden sense of dread and disappointment.
Things are just not adding up in Bethany's mind. Do her parents really love her, like she thought, or are they running from some kind of trouble? Things get a bit stranger when the people of Sanderfield start staring at her and asking her who she might be related to. Does she look like somebody they used to know and why would this matter? Is there somehow a connection between this person named Elizabeth and Sanderfield? Read this book to learn how Bethany not only unravels these mysteries but the life with her parents she thought she always knew.

SUBJECTS:     Cloning -- Fiction.
                        Identity -- Fiction.
                        Secrets -- Fiction.
                        Aunts -- Fiction.

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