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Shusterman, Neal.
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2003.
ISBN 0689803745

(2 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews


Booktalk #1

                        How far would you go for someone you love?  Would you be willing to give up your own life?  Sixteen-year-old Blake finds himself in this situation in Full Tilt.  When his thirteen-year-old brother Quinn falls into a coma, Blake knows he must be strong, brave, and ready to conquer his fears in order to save Quinn’s life. 
                         Blake must travel to an invitation-only carnival in order to find his brother, Quinn.  This is no ordinary carnival, though.  Blake must ride seven rides before dawn in order to not only save his brothers and his friends, but to stay alive himself.  Each ride is dangerous and life-threatening, and each one forces the person on board to face his deepest fears and insecurities.   Blake has to find a way off every ride and continue to the next one ­ if not, his soul stays entrapped at this bizarre phantom carnival forever.
                         As he is fighting for his life, the normally responsible, cautious Blake must find the strength within himself to fight the demons at the carnival and the demons in his own mind.  He must resist the charms of the beautiful seductress, Cassandra, the owner of the soul-stealing carnival.  Blake must deal with his feelings of anger and frustration over his wild, thrill-seeking brother.  He must face his grief and disappointment concerning his father abandoning his family.  He will realize his love for Maggie, his best friend’s girlfriend.  Perhaps the most difficult task of all is when Blake must relive a horrible incident from childhood.  He can no longer run from the secret that has haunted him forever.
                      Full Tilt ­ Hold on tight...this is one ride you will never forget. (Stacy Holcombe Symborski,, DR Hill Middle School Media Specialist/USC intern)

Booktalk #2

Sixteen-year-old Blake has always felt responsible for his troubled younger brother, Quinn.  When Quinn is found comatose in his bed with an invitation to a bizarre invitation-only carnival lying next to him that was earlier given to Blake by the mysterious Cassandra, Blake realizes he must go to the carnival to save his brother.  Blake is in for the ride of his life when he enters the carnival.  In fact, his soul and those of his two friends that accompany him are the price of admission.  Blake must survive seven different rides before dawn to reclaim his soul and his brother’s soul.  Each ride taps into Blake’s greatest fears.  With time running out, the last ride requires Blake to come to terms with his repressed childhood trauma of being the sole survivor of a school bus crash. If Blake doesn’t succeed, he will lose the souls of the two friends who accompanied him, Quinn’s soul, and his own. Together the brothers must form a bond of trust and cooperation in an effort to save their souls and the others trapped in the hellish carnival.  Is their bond enough???  (Brian A. Glassman, South Carolina Book Awards, 2006)

SUBJECTS:      Carnivals -- Fiction. 
                          Brothers -- Fiction. 
                          Self-perception -- Fiction. 
                          Near-death experiences -- Fiction. 
                          Horror stories. 


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