Alias

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As soon as they start to get settled in a new town, his mother always insists they pack up and move on. She changes her name, her hairstyle, and her identity. Does his mother work for the CIA? Was Toby kidnapped? Does he have a father who is alive somewhere? Over the years, Toby has learned not to ask these questions.

Fifteen-year-old Toby, who has spent his entire life traveling from place to place with his mother as she constantly changes her identity, discovers ...

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Overview

As soon as they start to get settled in a new town, his mother always insists they pack up and move on. She changes her name, her hairstyle, and her identity. Does his mother work for the CIA? Was Toby kidnapped? Does he have a father who is alive somewhere? Over the years, Toby has learned not to ask these questions.

Fifteen-year-old Toby, who has spent his entire life traveling from place to place with his mother as she constantly changes her identity, discovers that she is a political fugitive from justice.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Randy Brough
For as long as he can remember, fifteen-year-old Toby Chase has lived the wandering life of a vagabond. He has grown used to the routine established by his mother: Move to a new town, enroll in school, hang for awhile making no friends; then, with no warning from Mom, pick up stakes and hit the road again. But after a tedious sojourn in L.A., Toby is not at all adverse to another sudden uprooting. Destination this time-rural Idaho. Not a lot to do in Donner, but ever the trooper, Toby makes the best of the situation and even begins to develop a couple of friendships. His mother seems to enjoy the secluded, rustic life and may be falling in love. Is Donner a place they finally can call home? Toby thinks so, but his mother's shady past catches up with her, and as a crisis unfolds, mother and son stand to lose each other. A solid, entertaining YA debut by Ryan. The Vietnam War-era, fugitive-radical plot is topical and involving, and the relationship between mother and son is compassionate and realistic. The novel is well written, suspenseful, and recommended. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10Toby Chase's life has been a series of different schools and towns. He and his mother never have a phone or credit cards, and she constantly changes her hair color, job, and their last name. Now a teenager, Toby is resentful of her refusal to respond to his questions and he begins pressing her for answers. It is while working on a research paper for his new school in rural Idaho, however, that he finally uncovers the truth, via the Internet, that his mother is wanted by the FBI for her radical activities as a college student during the Vietnam War era. This time, when she must move on, Toby refuses to go, and he is left in the care of his mother's employer and would-be sweetheart, Sam Wilder. In the end, she turns herself in. When her lawyer discovers that her group was framed by a secret government agency, the story has a happy ending and Toby gets a bright beginning. All of the characters are well developed, but Toby is especially real and likable, which makes his habit of stealing rather disconcerting, and his longing for "people" and a past heartbreaking. Plot points are passed on through unobtrusive inner musings, and the pacing will keep readers moving along. Ryan does a great job of alternating the tension of life on the run with the precious patches of normalcy and calm that Sam brings to Toby's life. She doesn't do anything clever with images or language, but she competently tells a story that puts a personal face on events that have cropped up in the news over the past few years.Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Michael Cart

"I keep thinking I'll get used to the changes," Toby says stoically. "Different towns; different Mom; different everything."

But it's not easy. For as long as he can remember, "home" has been the car his mom is driving to yet another city and yet another "new" life that she's promised they'll find there. But it always turns out the same old way: Just as he's getting the hang of multiplication tables at a new school, it's time to pull up stakes and move on again...without even saying goodbye.

"When you don't say 'good-bye,'" Toby muses, "it's like you were never there. Like you didn't exist."

Now that he's 15, he's beginning to wonder if that might not be the point. "I'm just restless," his mom, Annie, protests. But does that explain why she changes their names as often as she changes the color and style of her hair? And does that explain why they have never had a telephone or a bank account? Or why his mom pays for everything with cash instead of a credit card? Or -- most important -- why, whenever a mysterious, chain-smoking man named Fred Hayes shows up, they have to move again? No wonder Toby thinks of him as Bad News Fred.

But now the news seems to be good -- for a change. Toby and his mom have settled down in a small town in remote northern Idaho. Annie has found a job she loves at a plant nursery owned by Sam, a kind man who seems to be falling in love with her. Toby has started back to school and has made friends with Sunny, whose parents are Vietnamese refugees. For once it appears that Annie's promise that this town is going to be "better than any place we've ever lived" is going to turn out to be the truth.

But then, while working on a history project with Sunny, Toby finds an old newspaper article that suggests that the answers may be more life-threatening by far than any of the questions he's ever dreamed of asking. And when it seems that things couldn't possibly get any worse, Bad News Fred shows up again, but now, perhaps, for the last time....

The author of three previous novels, Mary Elizabeth Ryan has written a fast-paced story of suspense that also explores, in very personal terms, the meaning of the past. Is it, as Toby wearily asserts, something to let go of -- "like a garbage chute"? Or is it history, as his teacher, a Vietnam War veteran, maintains? "We're all part of it, and it's a part of us," he says. We care about the answers because we care about the characters that Ryan has created. Annie and Toby are sympathetic, bright, and funny, and their mother-son relationship is an authentic mix of warmth and the kind of distance that too many secrets about the past impose.

Alias, is a fine novel that, once read, will linger in its readers' own remembered pasts.
— bn.com, Michael Cart

Kirkus Reviews
A tedious tale of a teenager who finds out that his 40-something mother has been a fugitive since the era of the Vietnam War.

After nearly 15 years of abrupt moves, name changes, no telephones, and cash-only transactions, Toby has never cracked his mother's reticence about her past, nor tried very hard to find out about his father. Suddenly, clues begin falling into his lap: an old photo in the house of a suspiciously new "old friend," a sheaf of not-very-well-hidden birth certificates and driver's licenses, an Internet news story about a 1970 raid on a student group supposedly plotting a bombing, found by chance while Toby researches a school report. When Toby sees his mother's face on a poster at the local sheriff's, he knows that the stakes are about to be pulled up again—but this time he opts to stay behind as she takes off for the Canadian border. Depending heavily on chance discoveries and her protagonist's strangely mild curiosity, Ryan creates neither suspense nor credibility, leaving readers to wonder how, even with the aid of a national underground network, Toby's mother fooled both her son and the authorities for so long. This sketchy mise-en-scène, plus a cut-and-dried ending—Toby's mother reappears as he's telling his class how proud he is of her, turns herself in, and then learns that her protest group had been set up by government agents—wastes characters who often display some surprising depths.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689822643
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 10/1/1998
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: 1st Aladdin Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 11 - 15 Years
  • Lexile: 560L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.16 (w) x 7.02 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Alias


By Mary Elizabeth Ryan

Turtleback Books Distributed by Demco Media

Copyright ©1998 Mary Elizabeth Ryan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0606154299

Chapter 1

I am on a train, like the ones in the movies, with paneled compartments and old-fashioned seats. The train takes a curve, and I see out the window that at the edge of the track there's...nothing. I grip the edge of the seat, knowing if I move an inch, the whole train, the whole track -- everything -- will fall off the cliff, into black emptiness: the end of the world.

When I woke up, I felt stiff and sore. My hand was clutching the metal hinge of the sofa bed. I'd been having that dream for years. I wondered where it came from, what it meant. It always gave me the sick feeling that everything was up to me -- if I made a false move, the game was over.

Then the alarm clock jangled, and I remembered -- with a twist in my chest -- what was supposed to happen today.

Forget the lousy dream. If I pushed it, I'd have time for instant coffee and a doughnut.

Mom had already left for her job as a cashier at flower shop downtown, near the big hotels. It wasn't much of a job, but it explained the smell that hung over the Dumpster, our one-bedroom apartment: The place was crammed with flowers. Most nights Johnny, Mom's boss, let her take the surplus flowers home. Mom's a genius when it comes to plants. They were allover the living room and the kitchen counter.

I boiled water and stirred in some coffee powder, shoving aside Mom's African violets to make room for a cup. Too bad she couldn't find a dog or a cat that needed a home, instead.

Not that it made any difference -- the slumlord who owned this place wouldn't let the inmates keep pets. When I was nine, I got to have a puppy once. That was six years ago, in another city in another state. Brewster was long gone, wriggling out the door one day never to return. There had been a lot of other states since then.

And now we were in sunny L.A., where the apartments had iron bars over the windows, and every now and then a car slowed outside, and you woke thinking it was the Fourth of July. Until you figured out those pops weren't firecrackers.

I swallowed the coffee in one gulp and grabbed my books. Phantom would be waiting. "You'd better be there," he'd said.

The past few months avoiding the Phantom had become a way of life. Today I planned to skip out last period before I had to give a report on ancient Egypt. I hadn't done much research anyway. I figured if they needed to know about dead pharaohs, they could dig up King Tut.

I waited until the bell rang. Then I slipped into the boys' room in case the vice principal was patrolling the halls for truants.

Two older kids were in there, peddling pot to a freshman. I ignored them and pretended to study a stray zit.

My face looked flat and blank in the mirror, like the face of the moon, or some lifeless planet. Dishwater-blond hair hung over the tops of my huge ears, which matched my huge feet. I felt like one of those bargain-basement suits where the jacket's too short and the pants are too long -- a misfit.

The only good thing about my face were my eyes. Blue and sharp. Mom's are a deep brown. I had enough biology at my last school to know that blue eyes come from a recessive gene. Meaning that somewhere out there, on my father's side, I've got a bunch of recessive, blue-eyed cousins. With huge ears and feet.

"Toby Chase?" I turned away from the mirror. The bathroom was empty. Then I looked closer and saw Phantom's size twelves under one of the stalls.

I couldn't see him, but I knew he could see me, that he was watching me from the other side of the scratched metal door. I stuck a Don't Mess With Me sign on my face, but inside I was scared. He'd been after me all year: Sell this for me, give that kid what's in the bag, drop something here, there, keep half for yourself.

So far all I'd done was buy time. But now Phantom wanted me to drag someone else into it. That was how it worked. I hated knowing he wanted to make me feel afraid. If it wasn't for Mom, I might have taken off by now. But I couldn't do that to her. I was all she had.

And it was all about to explode.

"Did you talk to Teddy?" The voice was low, a rusty hinge on an invisible door.

Teddy Lee was a nice little kid in my homeroom. Little Teddy didn't stand a chance.

"Haven't seen him," I said. Stupid, but brave.

Something metal struck the stall door. The crash echoed off the tiles. I winced.

I didn't stick around to find out what it was. In a second I was out of the bathroom, down the stairs, and out the door of Fillmore High.

Well, almost out the door. Just as I reached the exit, a big hand attached itself to my shoulder.

"Going somewhere, Mr. Chase? School's not out for forty-five minutes."

It was Mr. Boyer -- Fillmore's Joe Friday, the Kindergarten Cop himself.

I switched on my default expression: blank smile. "Got a doctor's appointment."

Boyer peered at me. "You don't look sick to me," he said.

"Eye doctor appointment," I improvised, squirming away from the vice principal's viselike fingers. "Can't see the board. Probably need glasses."

He sighed and let go of my shoulder. "You look like a bright kid, Toby," he said. "Got a future, college waiting for you. You don't want to spoil it with 'delinquent' all over your record."

"I think the word is 'truant,'" I corrected him. "I'm not into vandalism, or drug dealing, or any of the popular team sports here at Fillmore." It was true; he couldn't argue the point.

"Your mom's a nice lady," he said finally. "I don't want to put her through another long talk about what to do with you. She always looks so sad."

My eyes grazed the space behind him. A dark shape moved like a whisper down the hall.

For a moment I considered telling Boyer what was going on. Phantom would figure I had snitched anyway.

Boyer was still studying me. Then something in his eyes swung shut, and the moment passed.

I was doomed.

"So straighten up, buddy. End of chat. Now get back to class. March!"

Boyer was blocking the exit door with his cheap suit, so I did the smart thing. I shrugged, snapped off a salute, and marched.

"Another day, another pharaoh," I called.

Joe Friday didn't get it, and I didn't care.

To be safe I took the long way home. Practically through the next county. But the minute I walked in the door and tossed down my books, I didn't feel safe anymore.

Something was different.

Then I nailed it: The plants were gone.

And not just the plants. All the paperbacks had been scooped off the shelf next to the IV The TV was unplugged, the cord wrapped around it like an electrical vine.

"Mom?" I called, panic filling my voice as I headed down the hall. "Mom?"

"In here, Toby," she called from the bedroom. A pile of clothes covered Mom's bed, hangers poking out every which way.

"What's going on?" I asked, even though I knew the answer.

She was inside the closet, tossing skirts and blouses through the air. When she came out, I saw there was something different about Mom, too.

That didn't surprise me, either -- my Mom's trying out new looks. For over a year she'd worn her hair tied in a long braid down her back. Now it was short and curly. She keeps herself in good shape, but not really muscular. The hair looked good on her. I wondered how long she'd keep it that way.

"Don't tell me," I said, keeping my voice dead-pan. "Let me guess. We're, uh, moving again?"

She shot me an exasperated look and then smiled. I couldn't tell whether it was a real one, or something to sweeten me up. My mom can be real con artist when she wants to be.

"For heaven's sake, Toby -- don't tell me you wanted to stay here?"

"God, no." I plopped down on the bed, making the clothes bounce. "But school doesn't let out for a few months. Boyer won't like it...."

"We won't ever have to worry about Mr. Boyer again," she said. "I've got it all figured out."

She reached for a plastic garbage bag, the kind you could fit an elephant inside, and began shoving clothes into it: Mom's idea of luggage. She scrubbed a hand through her new short hair. She'd colored it, too -- it was light brown now instead of dark.

"Nice dye job," I remarked. "Washed that gray away?"

"Helen at the salon talked me into it," Mom said.

She tossed me the garbage bag and threw down a last armful of clothes. "And now, smart guy, I'm going to wash this horrible town out of my pores. First a shower, and then we'll hit the road."

"Sounds like a plan," I said. "Hey, is there anything to eat around here?" I called as she headed for the bathroom. "Or have you packed up the refrigerator, too?"

"There's salami, I think, and some bread," she called back as the shower swished on. "Make me a sandwich, too, will you, Toby? I really want to beat that traffic."

I headed for the kitchen, but the last thing on my mind was making a sandwich. I could hear the train from my dream, the shriek of its whistle as it rattled along the edge...I thought about the Phantom, and firecrackers reaching into your sleep.

Outside a car slowed, and I froze.

It moved on. Just a red light, I told myself. But when I reached for the bread, I had another thought. For once, I was definitely ready to move.

Then again, if you had Annie Chase for a mom, you didn't have much choice.

Copyright © 1997 by Mary Elizabeth Ryan



Continues...


Excerpted from Alias by Mary Elizabeth Ryan Copyright ©1998 by Mary Elizabeth Ryan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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First Chapter

Chapter 1

I am on a train, like the ones in the movies, with paneled compartments and old-fashioned seats. The train takes a curve, and I see out the window that at the edge of the track there's...nothing. I grip the edge of the seat, knowing if I move an inch, the whole train, the whole track -- everything -- will fall off the cliff, into black emptiness: the end of the world.

When I woke up, I felt stiff and sore. My hand was clutching the metal hinge of the sofa bed. I'd been having that dream for years. I wondered where it came from, what it meant. It always gave me the sick feeling that everything was up to me -- if I made a false move, the game was over.

Then the alarm clock jangled, and I remembered -- with a twist in my chest -- what was supposed to happen today.

Forget the lousy dream. If I pushed it, I'd have time for instant coffee and a doughnut.

Mom had already left for her job as a cashier at flower shop downtown, near the big hotels. It wasn't much of a job, but it explained the smell that hung over the Dumpster, our one-bedroom apartment: The place was crammed with flowers. Most nights Johnny, Mom's boss, let her take the surplus flowers home. Mom's a genius when it comes to plants. They were all over the living room and the kitchen counter.

I boiled water and stirred in some coffee powder, shoving aside Mom's African violets to make room for a cup. Too bad she couldn't find a dog or a cat that needed a home, instead.

Not that it made any difference -- the slumlord who owned this place wouldn't let the inmates keep pets. When I was nine, I got to have a puppy once. That was six years ago, in another city inanother state. Brewster was long gone, wriggling out the door one day never to return. There had been a lot of other states since then.

And now we were in sunny L.A., where the apartments had iron bars over the windows, and every now and then a car slowed outside, and you woke thinking it was the Fourth of July. Until you figured out those pops weren't firecrackers.

I swallowed the coffee in one gulp and grabbed my books. Phantom would be waiting. "You'd better be there," he'd said.

The past few months avoiding the Phantom had become a way of life. Today I planned to skip out last period before I had to give a report on ancient Egypt. I hadn't done much research anyway. I figured if they needed to know about dead pharaohs, they could dig up King Tut.

I waited until the bell rang. Then I slipped into the boys' room in case the vice principal was patrolling the halls for truants.

Two older kids were in there, peddling pot to a freshman. I ignored them and pretended to study a stray zit.

My face looked flat and blank in the mirror, like the face of the moon, or some lifeless planet. Dishwater-blond hair hung over the tops of my huge ears, which matched my huge feet. I felt like one of those bargain-basement suits where the jacket's too short and the pants are too long -- a misfit.

The only good thing about my face were my eyes. Blue and sharp. Mom's are a deep brown. I had enough biology at my last school to know that blue eyes come from a recessive gene. Meaning that somewhere out there, on my father's side, I've got a bunch of recessive, blue-eyed cousins. With huge ears and feet.

"Toby Chase?" I turned away from the mirror. The bathroom was empty. Then I looked closer and saw Phantom's size twelves under one of the stalls.

I couldn't see him, but I knew he could see me, that he was watching me from the other side of the scratched metal door. I stuck a Don't Mess With Me sign on my face, but inside I was scared. He'd been after me all year: Sell this for me, give that kid what's in the bag, drop something here, there, keep half for yourself.

So far all I'd done was buy time. But now Phantom wanted me to drag someone else into it. That was how it worked. I hated knowing he wanted to make me feel afraid. If it wasn't for Mom, I might have taken off by now. But I couldn't do that to her. I was all she had.

And it was all about to explode.

"Did you talk to Teddy?" The voice was low, a rusty hinge on an invisible door.

Teddy Lee was a nice little kid in my homeroom. Little Teddy didn't stand a chance.

"Haven't seen him," I said. Stupid, but brave.

Something metal struck the stall door. The crash echoed off the tiles. I winced.

I didn't stick around to find out what it was. In a second I was out of the bathroom, down the stairs, and out the door of Fillmore High.

Well, almost out the door. Just as I reached the exit, a big hand attached itself to my shoulder.

"Going somewhere, Mr. Chase? School's not out for forty-five minutes."

It was Mr. Boyer -- Fillmore's Joe Friday, the Kindergarten Cop himself.

I switched on my default expression: blank smile. "Got a doctor's appointment."

Boyer peered at me. "You don't look sick to me," he said.

"Eye doctor appointment," I improvised, squirming away from the vice principal's viselike fingers. "Can't see the board. Probably need glasses."

He sighed and let go of my shoulder. "You look like a bright kid, Toby," he said. "Got a future, college waiting for you. You don't want to spoil it with 'delinquent' all over your record."

"I think the word is 'truant,'" I corrected him. "I'm not into vandalism, or drug dealing, or any of the popular team sports here at Fillmore." It was true; he couldn't argue the point.

"Your mom's a nice lady," he said finally. "I don't want to put her through another long talk about what to do with you. She always looks so sad."

My eyes grazed the space behind him. A dark shape moved like a whisper down the hall.

For a moment I considered telling Boyer what was going on. Phantom would figure I had snitched anyway.

Boyer was still studying me. Then something in his eyes swung shut, and the moment passed.

I was doomed.

"So straighten up, buddy. End of chat. Now get back to class. March!"

Boyer was blocking the exit door with his cheap suit, so I did the smart thing. I shrugged, snapped off a salute, and marched.

"Another day, another pharaoh," I called.

Joe Friday didn't get it, and I didn't care.

To be safe I took the long way home. Practically through the next county. But the minute I walked in the door and tossed down my books, I didn't feel safe anymore.

Something was different.

Then I nailed it: The plants were gone.

And not just the plants. All the paperbacks had been scooped off the shelf next to the IV The TV was unplugged, the cord wrapped around it like an electrical vine.

"Mom?" I called, panic filling my voice as I headed down the hall. "Mom?"

"In here, Toby," she called from the bedroom. A pile of clothes covered Mom's bed, hangers poking out every which way.

"What's going on?" I asked, even though I knew the answer.

She was inside the closet, tossing skirts and blouses through the air. When she came out, I saw there was something different about Mom, too.

That didn't surprise me, either -- my Mom's trying out new looks. For over a year she'd worn her hair tied in a long braid down her back. Now it was short and curly. She keeps herself in good shape, but not really muscular. The hair looked good on her. I wondered how long she'd keep it that way.

"Don't tell me," I said, keeping my voice dead-pan. "Let me guess. We're, uh, moving again?"

She shot me an exasperated look and then smiled. I couldn't tell whether it was a real one, or something to sweeten me up. My mom can be real con artist when she wants to be.

"For heaven's sake, Toby -- don't tell me you wanted to stay here?"

"God, no." I plopped down on the bed, making the clothes bounce. "But school doesn't let out for a few months. Boyer won't like it...."

"We won't ever have to worry about Mr. Boyer again," she said. "I've got it all figured

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Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2004

    Alias Tells a Bland Story

    The novel Alias is an insipid story that had me struggling by the tenth page to keep reading. Ryan provides a thorough description of the main character, Toby, and his mother. However, the description is so thorough that I guessed the ending of the story by the second chapter. Toby describes the lifestyle that he and his mother share. She constantly changes her identity, her personality, and their lives. They never own a phone, never open bank accounts, and Toby is never allowed to ask questions. After these statements in the second chapter, I guessed why Toby and his mother moved around so much, and the rest of the book seems unimportant. For example, Toby finds an article that suggests his mother may not be who she appears to be. This part in the plot parallels the conclusion I had drawn, and is useless to me. This adds to my dissatisfaction of the book because the information repeats over and over again, instead of adding new and exciting action. I also dislike this story because despite the fact that it is about a 15-year-old, it contains few thoughts or situations that real teens are facing. Judging by this quote, Toby doesn¿t know his mother very well: ¿She shot me an exasperated look and then smiled. I couldn¿t tell whether it was a real one, or just something to sweeten me up. My mom can be a real con artist when she wants to be¿ (6). After 15 years, kids tend to know their parents quite well, especially when it comes to their behavior. Therefore, I don¿t believe that this is an accurate representation of the relationship between parents and their children. Although the opening sentence was somewhat captivating, this book never completely caught my attention. The first sentence prodded me to continue reading, but unfortunately, I never found a connection between it and the rest of the story. Besides that sentence, there were no other literary devices or lines that created any emotion. Finishing the book was no small task, as it was necessary to force myself to read a little each night, due to lack of creativity. This novel is described as being ¿suspenseful¿ by Booklist, but after reading the book I am inclined to disagree. There was no noticeable climax in the plot, or anything that created excitement or mystery in the book. I don¿t highly recommend this slow paced novel if you are looking for a thrilling, dramatic story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2003

    St. Lawrence Martyr School- student 5th grade

    Toby (age 15) and his mom spend most of their time moving. And as soon as they get settled in a new place his mother decides to chage locations again, and every time they move to a new town she changes her (identity) hair style and color, her names. Neither her nor himself own phones or credit cards. Toby wonders from time to time if his mother works for the CIA and if he has a father that is still alive that he doesn't know about. But his mother prefers him not to ask any questions about her personal life. When they move to Rual, Idaho things are different then they used to be. Then Toby unmasks an old news article that takes away any possibility of he and his mother living like 'regular' people. If you want to find out what happens next read 'Alias', the thrilling story that sends you for a ride!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2003

    Alias

    Toby (age 15) and his mom spend most of their time moving. And as soon as they get settled in a new place his mother decides to change locations again, and every time they move to a new town she changes her (identity) hair style and color, her names. Neither she nor he own phones or credit cards. Toby wonders from time to time if his mother works for the CIA and if he has a father that is still alive that he doesn't know about. But his mother prefers him not to ask any questions about her personal life. When they move to Rual, Idaho things are different then they used to be. Then Toby unmasks an old news article that takes away any possibility of him and his mother living like 'regular' people. Since I don¿t want to give away the ending I won¿t tell you any more, but I will tell you a little bit about the characters. They were very realistic, and the way Mary (author) described them brought them to life in your little book-reading corner in you brain. And the setting was just like you were there on a mountain that was very isolated with not that much to do. But any ways the book was exactly like a movie where you don¿t know what¿s going to happen next and your watching every step of the way you take and your mind is constantly altering, trying to predict what is going to happen to me. It¿s basically an old fashion action scene one after another. A realistic-fiction story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2003

    Alias

    Toby (age 15) and his mom spend most of their time moving. And as soon as they get settled in a new place his mother decides to chage locations again, and every time they move to a new town she changes her (identity) hair style and color, her names. Neither her or himself own phones or credit cards. Toby wonders from time to time if his mother works for the CIA and if he has a father that is still alive that he doesn't know about. But his mother preffers him not to ask any questions aout her personal life. When they move to Rual, Idaho things are different then they used to be. Then Toby unmaskes an old news article that takes away any possibility of he and his mother living like 'regular' people. If you want to find out what happens next read 'Alias', the thrilling story that sends you for a ride!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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