Divide

( 52 )

Overview


On the other side of the DIVIDE, magical creatures are real and humans are the stuff of myths! Part 1 in the incredible, unforgettable trilogy.

Felix is spending what may be his last summer in Costa Rica, that odd global crossroads where two continents meet and two oceans part. Perched on an abyss, Felix loses consciousness and falls through The Divide. When he comes to, he's in another world: one where legendary animals are real. And he soon discovers that all these wonderous ...

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Dewan, Ted New York, NY 2003 Hard cover New. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 320 p. Audience: Children/juvenile.

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Overview


On the other side of the DIVIDE, magical creatures are real and humans are the stuff of myths! Part 1 in the incredible, unforgettable trilogy.

Felix is spending what may be his last summer in Costa Rica, that odd global crossroads where two continents meet and two oceans part. Perched on an abyss, Felix loses consciousness and falls through The Divide. When he comes to, he's in another world: one where legendary animals are real. And he soon discovers that all these wonderous creatures think HE'S the mythical beast with magical powers. Guided by his newfound friends Betony, an elfin girl, and Ironclaw, an eagle-eyed, owl-eared, lion-pawed brazzle, will Felix find his way back home? And will he find a cure for his weak heart?

While hiking on the Continental Divide of Costa Rica, a young boy with a heart condition falls into a magical otherworld full of fantastical creatures.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kay's "stranger in a strange land" tale takes some time to get moving; the first 50 pages or so introduce the terminology and the workings of this Faerie land. But once the ball gets rolling, the story is inviting. Thirteen-year-old Felix's weak heart threatens to prematurely end his life. While on vacation with his parents, he falls into the ocean at the Continental Divide, the point where the Atlantic meets the Pacific, and wakes up in a world of pointed-eared elves, unicorns and talking griffins-and where humans and dogs are mythical. Felix befriends Betony, a "tangle-child" who, in an early scene, discovers a wounded unicorn. The unicorn gives her a cryptic message before dying. As Betony sets out to fulfill the unicorn's wish, Felix strives to find a cure for his illness as well as a way home. They encounter dozens of odd creatures and settings, and the pace quickens when evil Snakeweed attempts to track down the teen, in order to "use Felix for his own ends"-to enter the human world. Readers may find this either a sprawling work of imagination or a kitchen-sink concoction; both the story and language seem at times unnecessarily convoluted. The tale ends, however, with a nicely constructed cliff-hanger, leaving those who enjoyed this odd journey hungry for the next. A paper-over-board package with a cover that splits down the middle adds to the book's allure. Ages 9-12. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Felix used to be an ordinary boy with an unfortunate illness, but since his vacation to Costa Rica, life has become rather extraordinary. His parents planned the trip to Costa Rica because he wanted to see the Continental Divide, the dividing line between water that runs to the Atlantic or to the Pacific oceans. While standing on the Divide, Felix faints, which, along with a few other coincidental events, transports him into another world where he meets creatures that he always believed were mythical. In this new world are live firebirds—known as Phoenixes—Brittlehorns (Unicorns) and Brazzles (Griffins). Felix meets a friendly Tangle-child, an elf-like creature, named Betony. Through his friendship with Betony, and with the help of many of the other creatures, he searches for a cure to his illness and a way back to his own world. Well-known mythical creatures, vampires, dragons, pixies and more, pop up throughout the book with magical twists. The book shows the value of having friends who are different, the impact of new technologies on other cultures, and the importance of an open mind. 2003, The Chicken House/Scholastic, Ages 7 to 13.
—Renee Pelton
VOYA
When thirteen-year-old Felix visits the Divide-the place where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans split-with his parents, he knows that he might not live long because of a failing heart. As Felix straddles the Divide, he is transported into another world. There, mythical creatures such as unicorns, gnomes, and pixies are real, and humans are creatures of myth. Magic is everyday fact, whereas science is legend. Felix soon enlists several creatures, all stunned to meet a human, to help him return home and to find magic to cure his heart. Things become deadly as evil residents of this new world seek to capture Felix and to travel back to his world to plunder. Felix is in a race for his life and for the fate of his home. The concept of entering a world where reality and myth trade places is an intriguing one, but it is not well executed here. There are troubling plot inconsistencies. For example, characters regularly go to crystal ball shops to check on the locations and conditions of friends and relatives in other towns, but when the police seek an escaped criminal, they use "wanted" posters. The characterization is thin, with the reader tending to lose sight of which characters are which as many are drawn into the story. Readers will not likely be gushing about this book, but some fantasy fans might enjoy the premise of the alternate worlds. This book is recommended for middle school libraries with avid fantasy readers, but it lacks general appeal. VOYA CODES: 3Q 2P M J (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2003, Scholastic, 318p,
— Sherrie Williams
From The Critics
Alone in the world, separated from true friends, and isolated by his parents, Felix struggles with a heart condition that threatens his life. Torn between life and death, Felix and his parents set out to Costa Rica in search of a chance for life. Against his parents' wishes, he escapes briefly to view the Great Divide (where the Atlantic and Pacific oceans split) only to discover himself in a world unlike any he has ever known before. In a mythical world where legends live and humans don't exist, Felix discovers many magical and amazing creatures fascinated by science but living in a world of magic. He is led on an adventure beyond his dreams as he and his new friends search to find him a cure. Lost in the challenge of a mythical world, Felix is faced with the chance to discover something greater than his cure, and he begins to see the hope to a brighter future. 2003, The Chicken House, 318 pp., . Ages young adult. Reviewer: Amy Young
KLIATT
Felix, a 13-year-old with a dangerous heart condition, is on vacation with his parents in Costa Rica. He is eager to visit the spot that marks the Continental Divide, which separates the Atlantic from the Pacific, but on arriving at it he passes out with one foot on each side. He comes to in an alternate universe, where magic and mythical beings like unicorns and griffins are real (though known by other names, listed in a glossary at the front) and science and humans are only a legend. He meets up with a tangle-child (elf) named Betony, and together they search for a cure for his illness while trying to combat an evil japegrin (pixie) who is trying to sell potions that purportedly heal but instead can be fatal. In the end, Felix is cured and finds his way back to his own world. However, some of the evil beings from the other world have found their way there as well, so a sequel may be on its way. This British fantasy is an entertaining light read for younger YAs, with both suspense and humor. The unusual cover, which opens up in the middle of the front (appropriately, a divide) to reveal huge eyes, may help attract readers. KLIATT Codes: J-Recommended for junior high school students. 2003, Scholastic, The Chicken House, 318p. illus., Ages 12 to 15.
— Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Felix, a sickly 13-year-old on vacation with his parents in Costa Rica, stands astride the Continental Divide and is transported into a world in which mythological creatures are real and humans are believed to be myths. Felix first meets a griffin, called a brazzle. Soon he meets Betony, a tangle child, known to humans as an elf. They enlist some brittlehorns (unicorns) to help Felix try to find a magical cure for his heart defect. Things go badly, though, because Snakeweed, an evil japegrin (pixie), has a plan to make a great deal of money selling bogus healing potions that are sometimes fatal. After a series of adventures, Felix is indeed healed by magic and manages to be transported back home, but Snakeweed and a couple of other evil creatures join him. This leaves the way open for a sequel. Unfortunately, while Felix and Betony do brave things, they are not well developed as characters and it is hard to become emotionally involved with them. Unicorns and brownies die, and other wonderful beings are placed in grave danger, but no one seems to care as much as they should. Felix himself is cured without much cost or sacrifice on his part, and the whole concept of a world in which mythological creatures are real but have different names begins to wear thin after a while. This is a light, enjoyable read, but one cannot escape the feeling that it has not lived up to its potential.-Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This journey to a parallel world is competent but unexceptional. Thirteen-year-old Felix, traveling despite his potentially fatal heart condition, stands on the Costa Rican Continental Divide, passes out, and ends up in a dimension where mythical creatures are real and humans are thought to be mythical. He makes friends with a tangle-child herbalist, and they work with others to stop an evil japegrin from marketing dangerous medicinal potions. Interwoven is Felix's personal quest for a potential heart remedy. Felix finally returns to his own world, but so does the evil japegrin, promising a hazard to humans that will probably begin the series' next entry. Pedestrian new names for classic mythical beings (pixies are "japegrins," unicorns "brittlehorns") are distracting, but worse is the unexamined question of why English is the explicitly acknowledged language of this realm entered through Costa Rica. Fine, but less creative than it sounds. (Fiction. 8-12)
From the Publisher

School Library Journal (September 1, 2003; 0-439-45696-7) Gr 5-8-Felix, a sickly 13-year-old on vacation with his parents in Costa Rica, stands astride the Continental Divide and is transported into a world in which mythological creatures are real and humans are believed to be myths. Felix first meets a griffin, called a brazzle. Soon he meets Betony, a tangle child, known to humans as an elf. They enlist some brittlehorns (unicorns) to help Felix try to find a magical cure for his heart defect. Things go badly, though, because Snakeweed, an evil japegrin (pixie), has a plan to make a great deal of money selling bogus healing potions that are sometimes fatal. After a series of adventures, Felix is indeed healed by magic and manages to be transported back home, but Snakeweed and a couple of other evil creatures join him. This leaves the way open for a sequel. Unfortunately, while Felix and Betony do brave things, they are not well developed as characters and it is hard to become emotionally involved with them. Unicorns and brownies die, and other wonderful beings are placed in grave danger, but no one seems to care as much as they should. Felix himself is cured without much cost or sacrifice on his part, and the whole concept of a world in which mythological creatures are real but have different names begins to wear thin after a while. This is a light, enjoyable read, but one cannot escape the feeling that it has not lived up to its potential.-Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Voice of Youth Advocates (August 1, 2003; 0-439-45696-7) When thirteen-year-old Felix visits the Divide-the place where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans split-with his parents, he knows that he might not live long because of a failing heart. As Felix straddles the Divide, he is transported into another world. There, mythical creatures such as unicorns, gnomes, and pixies are real, and humans are creatures of myth. Magic is everyday fact, whereas science is legend. Felix soon enlists several creatures, all stunned to meet a human, to help him return home and to find magic to cure his heart. Things become deadly as evil residents of this new world seek to capture Felix and to travel back to his world to plunder. Felix is in a race for his life and for the fate of his home. The concept of entering a world where reality and myth trade places is an intriguing one, but it is not well executed here. There are troubling plot inconsistencies. For example, characters regularly go to crystal ball shops to check on the locations and conditions of friends and relatives in other towns, but when the police seek an escaped criminal, they use "wanted" posters. The characterization is thin, with the reader tending to lose sight of which characters are which as many are drawn into the story. Readers will not likely be gushing about this book, but some fantasy fans might enjoy the premise of the alternate worlds. This book is recommended for middle school libraries with avid fantasy readers, but it lacks general appeal.-Sherrie Williams.
Publishers Weekly (July 28, 2003; 0-439-45696-7) Kay's "stranger in a strange land" tale takes some time to get moving; the first 50 pages or so introduce the terminology and the workings of this Faerie land. But once the ball gets rolling, the story is inviting. Thirteen-year-old Felix's weak heart threatens to prematurely end his life. While on vacation with his parents, he falls into the ocean at the Continental Divide, the point where the Atlantic meets the Pacific, and wakes up in a world of pointed-eared elves, unicorns and talking griffins-and where humans and dogs are mythical. Felix befriends Betony, a "tangle-child" who, in an early scene, discovers a wounded unicorn. The unicorn gives her a cryptic message before dying. As Betony sets out to fulfill the unicorn's wish, Felix strives to find a cure for his illness as well as a way home. They encount
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439456968
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/4/2003
  • Pages: 320
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 8.12 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author


Elizabeth Kay works as a teacher as well as a professional writer and illustrator. She has published radio plays, short stories and poetry, and two novels for children--The Divide and Back to the Divide. The final book in the Divide trilogy will be published in the summer of 2005. In the story of thirteen-year-old Felix, The Divide provides a mixture of imagination and humor. While on vacation in Costa Rica, Felix, who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening heart disease, falls into a fantasy world. There, he meets a variety of fictional creatures who help him find a cure for his illness and help him get back home.

In the second title of the trilogy, Back to the Divide, Felix must save his parents from a dangerous curse. The evil Snakeweed freezes Felix’s parents in a curse that also endangers the Earth! Felix must work to free his parents and save the world.

Elizabeth Kay has two grown-up daughters and lives in Surrey, England.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(32)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2004

    Divide

    When you read the summary for this book and see the attractive cover you think it will be an enjoyable story. But, I have to say it's NOT!!! In the book you can easily predict what happens. It follows the classic plot of many fantasy stories. It seems like it will be a promising book. I mean you see the page in the begining with all of the creatures, but as you read on you soon discover that Ms. Kay didn't make up new creatures. She simply took already made up mythical creatures (i.e. Griffins 'Brazzles', Pixies 'Japegrins', Unicorns 'Brittlehorns', and so on.) The point is, this book is less creative than it looks. The people in the 'made-up' world used dragons for airplanes. doesn't this remind you of the flinstones? They used a different creature but in the same way. I was extremely dissapointed with the lack of creativity in this story. sure, the plot is creative but what fantasy book isn't. Also, The characters in this book make some choices. These choices do NOT reflect the characters' personalities at all. It is just like they pulled them out of nowhere. They make choices in the middle and end of the story that they would never have even thought of making in the begining. It seems to me that Ms. Kay decided half way through the story that she wanted to change her characters. The characters themselves are poorly developed. Again, they are not all you think they will be. I also couldn't help feeling like the author was rushing toward the end.The end lacked the desciptions of the begining. Ms. Kay has already ruined the possibility for me to read the sequel. I will NOT be reading the sequel. save yourself the dissapointment and don't bother wasting money on this book; I can tell you, It's not worth it! I DON'T reccomend this book to anyone!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2010

    I Lot Better Than I Expected

    The Divide by Elizabeth Kay, was reccommended to me by many of my friends, but I never really expected it to be as good as it was. I really enjoyed how they combined mythology with a heartfelt story. I can't wait to read the rest in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    Bay 1068218

    The book Divide is a very interesting book about a kid named Felix who has a heart disease and is on vacation in Costa Rica when he passes out when hiking with his parents. When he finds out he is in a entirley different demension. He later finds out that in the demension he is in they use magic instead of science. Through out the book he tries to find a way to get back home and cure his heart disease. I wouldnt reccomend this book beacuse it is hard to follow so just check it out and dont buy it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Read

    The Divide is catchy not only for its ingenious cover design, but also for its use of imagination. Elizabeth Kay does a wonderful job of mixing a real-life heart condition with an imaginary world. Not only does the main character find a glimmer of hope, he also makes new friends, visits another dimension, and he gets to experience happenings that real-world people only dream of. This book is great for everyone, and is a fast read.

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  • Posted January 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An adicting mythical story with an interesting piont of view

    Most mythical stories tell about a mythical beast in our world or one having an adventure in thier world. But in this book they tell of a boy with a heart disease getting stuck in thier world without any way of getting back that he knows of. It has the theory that if we beleve that those creachers are mythical thaen maybe the creachers on that side think that we're mythical. He soon meets an elf named Batony and at first she wants to help him get back home but once she learns of his disease she wants to help with that. They go on an edventure around the magical world to find a cure. It is a very good book and I recamend it for kids and adults. It is adventurist and so addicting you don't want to put it down.

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  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by K. Osborn Sullivan for TeensReadToo.com

    Felix is a boy whose parents are a little overprotective of him. And who can blame them? Their son has a potentially fatal heart condition. One wrong move could be Felix's last. Considering the circumstances, his parents are doubly horrified when Felix disappears during a family vacation to Costa Rica. <BR/><BR/>While his parents fear that Felix might be kidnapped or lost in the jungle, the truth is far stranger. Their son is in another world - one he entered accidentally while crossing the continental divide. In this other world, magic is real and Felix is treated like a legend that sprang from a storybook. After all, the many odd creatures that inhabit this magical world have never seen a human before and find it hard to believe that one is walking among them. Felix spends the majority of THE DIVIDE exploring the magical world, making friends with its bizarre inhabitants, and trying to find a spell that will send him home. <BR/><BR/>Some of my favorite characters in the book are the brazzles, which are huge, bird-like creatures, much like griffins. The males of the species are obsessed with math. The females are not. This does not make for happy brazzle marriages. Felix also becomes close friends with what is known as a tangle child. Her name is Betony and she is an elf. After getting over the fact that they have really met a legendary human, Felix's new friends are willing to use their understanding of magic to try and help him find his way home. <BR/><BR/>Unfortunately, not everyone in the magical world is so generous and kind. Felix also runs afoul of some unpleasant creatures, including japegrins, who want to take advantage of his helplessness. <BR/><BR/>THE DIVIDE is an imaginative book that I highly recommend to lovers of young adult fantasy. It has likeable characters, as well as villains who are easy to despise. It presents a magical world that the reader can see through Felix's eyes. Also, as an added bonus, it has a wonderful cover. Maybe that should not carry much weight, but for some reason, I was delighted by the cover that split down the middle. Overall, I believe that if readers jump to a magical world along with Felix, they will agree that it was well worth the trip.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2007

    This book is awesome

    This book has a great plot and a stunning aray of charecters. It deals with a boy my age, so it is interesting to me. He has a heart condition, and he falls into a world where all fantasy becomes real, and our world is considered fairy tale. This is an exciting read, and if you like Harry Potter or Artimis Fowl, You might like this too. Don't listen to any reviews that give this 2 stars or less!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2007

    Well-Written, Fast Paced Fantasy

    The Divide, by Elizabeth Kay, is an interesting, well written, and fast-paced fantasy young adult novel. This book features detailed characters and settings, which helps keep the story believable. The interesting, detailed plot keeps you reading. The only negative aspect of this book is that its fast pace can sometimes confuse the reader. I would greatly recommend this book to any reader who enjoys action or fantasy stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2007

    A reviewer

    I read this book in middle school and I still remember it, Its awesome! I recommend it to people who love to read fantasy stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2007

    Courtesy of Teens Read Too

    Felix is a boy whose parents are a little overprotective of him. And who can blame them? Their son has a potentially fatal heart condition. One wrong move could be Felix¿s last. Considering the circumstances, his parents are doubly horrified when Felix disappears during a family vacation to Costa Rica. While his parents fear that Felix might be kidnapped or lost in the jungle, the truth is far stranger. Their son is in another world ¿ one he entered accidentally while crossing the continental divide. In this other world, magic is real and Felix is treated like a legend that sprang from a storybook. After all, the many odd creatures that inhabit this magical world have never seen a human before and find it hard to believe that one is walking among them. Felix spends the majority of THE DIVIDE exploring the magical world, making friends with its bizarre inhabitants, and trying to find a spell that will send him home. Some of my favorite characters in the book are the brazzles, which are huge, bird-like creatures, much like griffins. The males of the species are obsessed with math. The females are not. This does not make for happy brazzle marriages. Felix also becomes close friends with what is known as a tangle child. Her name is Betony and she is an elf. After getting over the fact that they have really met a legendary human, Felix¿s new friends are willing to use their understanding of magic to try and help him find his way home. Unfortunately, not everyone in the magical world is so generous and kind. Felix also runs afoul of some unpleasant creatures, including japegrins, who want to take advantage of his helplessness. THE DIVIDE is an imaginative book that I highly recommend to lovers of young adult fantasy. It has likeable characters, as well as villains who are easy to despise. It presents a magical world that the reader can see through Felix¿s eyes. Also, as an added bonus, it has a wonderful cover. Maybe that should not carry much weight, but for some reason, I was delighted by the cover that split down the middle. Overall, I believe that if readers jump to a magical world along with Felix, they will agree that it was well worth the trip. **Reviewed by: K. Osborn Sullivan

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2007

    a gripping novel

    this book was amazing.everything is so well written! it will have you on the edge of your seat. i recommend this to anyone who is ready to embark on an incredible journey. it is 100% on of the best books i have ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2007

    Excellent! Non-Stop Action

    This book was truely remarkable! The author is a genius, for she is so creative in her plot/synopsis. There are many characters and the most part of the book is 'rising action'. I enjoyed reading The Divide because of the complexity of the novel,(but in a good way). You must read this book if you love fantasy and a fast-paced plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2006

    AWSOME AWSOME AWSOME :)

    i LOVED THIS BOOK IT WAS JUST SO SUSPENCEFUL

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2006

    Just WOW.

    This book shows a darker and more tragic, poetic sort of fantasy. I loved this book! I've read it three times and will most likely never stop reading it! Read on!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2006

    An interesting and complex novel that will dazzle all readers

    This beautifully worked tale of mysery, fantasy and adventure will amaze anyone who enjoys and appreciates a good fantasy novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2006

    Read the book! You must read it!

    This book was AMAZING! It shows great affection as well as adventure and a sense of humor. It had an extremely tense climax and I really thought the worst of it (you'll know what I mean when I read it) To who ever is reading this review, buy the book...and the sequel...and the trilogy. This is one of my favorite books!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2005

    One of the Best Books of the year!!A Must Read!!

    The Divide is a very creative story. Yes, Ms.Kay did make up names for already make believe creatures, but that doesn't rteally matter. The plot is mysterious, and it is unpredictable. You won't wanna put this book down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2005

    Good Book

    Pretty good book a must read. I recomend on getting this book. One of the best books I ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2005

    ok, but seen better

    The story has an ok plot and characters, but I found it a little cheesy that an animal that is seen often in the book is the cure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2005

    Awesome book for all readers!!

    I believe this book to be good for all ages, wether your 80, or 8, it doesn't matter. Because you do have to keep up with the book, you have to remember details you never would have remembered in most books that have a great deal of importance. there is so much that you have to remember that happend you might get lost though. This is what makes it interesting for me, because your always on an action high.

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