Empty Mirror

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Overview

Nick is an orphan who has grown up in his uncle Jack's care on the wild, wooded coast of New England. His parents died when he was a baby during a terrible influenza epidemic that swept the region not long after World War I. Nick first realizes something is wrong when he notices he no longer has a reflection. Then a neighbor he has known all his life accuses him of ignoring her. Soon Nick is blamed for all kinds of trouble around town. Is some other boy who looks like Nick creating all the problems? Nick suspects...

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2006 Trade paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 192 p. Audience: Children/juvenile.

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The Empty Mirror

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Overview

Nick is an orphan who has grown up in his uncle Jack's care on the wild, wooded coast of New England. His parents died when he was a baby during a terrible influenza epidemic that swept the region not long after World War I. Nick first realizes something is wrong when he notices he no longer has a reflection. Then a neighbor he has known all his life accuses him of ignoring her. Soon Nick is blamed for all kinds of trouble around town. Is some other boy who looks like Nick creating all the problems? Nick suspects that something even stranger is going on. Ultimately he proves that someone else is trying to get him in trouble. Refusing to let this shadow of a boy take over his life, Nick develops a plan with his friend Gypsy to get rid of his mirror image for good.

Award-winning author James Lincoln Collier has written a haunting story of two boys-one alive, one a ghost-who confront each other and their small town in a battle to determine who is the more deserving of the one life they seem to share.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Imagine waking up one morning feeling not quite like yourself. You take a walk by a pond and when you look in it, you have no reflection. This is the dilemma that faces 13-year-old Nick Hodges. Nick, an orphan being raised by his Uncle Jack, is also being accused of crimes around town that he knows he didn't commit. Confused and upset, Nick can only confide in his friend, Gypsy, an outcast because of her nationality. Determined to find his reflection and the person responsible for ruining his name, Nick learns more about his past and the influenza epidemic that swept his town when he was a baby. With innumerable suspenseful scenes, this book will leave a chill running down anyone's spine. Not only does the book deal with problems teenagers face, such as feeling like you don't fit it, but it also offers a history lesson about a serious time when illness destroyed entire towns. This book has a great story and good ending and will keep you on your toes the whole time. 2004, Bloomsbury Press, 192 pp., Ages young adult.
—Lyra Heiser-Washington
Children's Literature - Leslie Rounds
Thirteen-year-old Nick has lived with his Uncle Jack ever since his parents died in the influenza epidemic of 1918. Suddenly, Nick develops a bad reputation in his small New England town as his apparent double arrives and begins to cause serious trouble. Incidents escalate from mere rudeness to arson, and then, possibly, even murder. Townspeople quickly lose patience with Nick and he finds himself on the run, with only the help of his best friend, Gyspy, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks with issues of her own, and the ever-steady Uncle Jack. When Nick discovers that he no longer has a reflection, and that the evil boy appears linked to one who died in the epidemic, the book quickly changes from mystery to horror story. Ultimately, Nick has to find a way to prove to the townsfolk that there is a double, without getting caught by them himself. The easy-going relationship Nick shares with his uncle adds a level of believability to the book. Plot twists, the supernatural element, and a first person narrative all help to make this an excellent choice for reluctant readers.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Nick Hodges, a 13-year-old orphan with the reputation of being a troublemaker, lives with his Uncle Jack in a small coastal New England village in 1931. His parents both died in the influenza epidemic of 1918, which the villagers are reluctant to talk about. The story opens with Nick's waking from a disturbing dream in which he feels he has lost something. Soon he is accused of not speaking to a neighbor at the pond, when he was miles from there at that time. Investigating at the pond with his friend, Gypsy Dauber, Nick is stunned to see that he has no reflection. He continues to be seen at destructive incidents that increase in their severity: breaking windows of the church; setting fire to the school; and cutting boats loose, one of which has a passed-out drunk aboard. The townspeople are ready to hang Nick for murder or send him to a mental institution when he continues to insist that he is innocent. A gravestone for Jared Solters, a boy of Nick's age who died in the epidemic, provides the clue that causes the teen to investigate the epidemic and learn why Jared wants to inhabit his body and live out the remainder of his life. Some lessons on the importance of not forgetting the past are included in this fast-paced novel that will hook readers with a spooky ghost story while giving them interesting historical information.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Prolific author Collier presents an odd and oddly compelling tale of a young boy haunted by a vengeful spirit and his own tragic past. Set in a New England coastal village, the story centers on 13-year-old Nick, orphaned as a baby in the 1918 influenza epidemic. Nick is known for getting into trouble now and then, making it hard for him to defend himself when a mysterious double appears, seeming to be bent on ruining his already tarnished reputation and ultimately claiming his life. Occasionally slow-moving but always atmospheric, the first-person narration follows Nick from the first moment he notices that his reflection has disappeared to his final clever confrontation with the diabolical double. Secondary characters are clearly, if sketchily, drawn and, like the archetypal small-town setting, serve to ground the story without dragging it down into unnecessary detail. While Collier's quirky tale requires more from readers than popular mass-market horror stories, his matter-of-fact tone makes even the ghostly elements seem bone-chillingly plausible. Spooky and satisfying. (Fiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582349046
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 5/2/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.96 (w) x 7.75 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

James Lincoln Collier is the author of more than fifty books for adults and children. He won a Newbery Honor for My Brother Sam Is Dead and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award. He is also well known for his writing for adults on jazz. He lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 6, 2012

    Empty Mirror by James Lincoln Collier is a mystery/fantasy/adven

    Empty Mirror by James Lincoln Collier is a mystery/fantasy/adventure book. Nick is an orphan who lives with his uncle. Nick has a reputation for being troublesome. Recently he has been blamed for doing bad things that he couldn't have done because he wasn't there. People who have known him his whole life claim to have seen him in places he wasn't. How can this be? To make matters worse, Nick no longer has a reflection in mirrors, ponds, windows or anywhere else. Nick needs to clear his name and find out what happened to his reflection.

    I thought it was a great book because you were always wanting to know what would happen next. I was on the edge of my seat from the first chapter to the end. I never wanted to put the book down. I gave it 5 stars because you will love the suspense and mystery as you try to figure out what is happening to Nick. I would recommend this book for boys and girls in fourth grade and up because there are references to alcohol and being drunk.

    I think this is a book every reader should try.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    SATISFYING

    This is a very satisfiying book... BUT it could have been a little bit more spookier.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2007

    A Mysterious and Suspensful Book!!!

    The Empty Mirror was a gift to me from Christmas. I read it right away! When I started the book, I thought it would be a normal book about a boy. It took me about an hour and a half to finish. This book is about a boy who looses his reflection and a spirit takes it and haunts him. Its very suspensful, and every new chapter has its own new adventure. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves suspense, mysteries, adventure, and excitment!!! This is one of my favorite books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2006

    sweet

    it is so hard to follow but is a good book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2006

    An exciting mistery wating to be read

    This book talkes about a boy who looks in the mirror and saw no reflection. He askes his unkle and so his unkle looked into it and sees nothing wrong. and gives him the grin. so he looks back into it and sees his shado is gone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2006

    about the empty mirror

    the empty mirror is the kind of book lots of people love to read. It has alot of mysteries and is thrilling to read. On some parts of the book its so interesting it has you on the edge of your seat!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2006

    Good things about the' Empty Mirror'

    The good things about this book is if you read this it is manly about mysteries and dead people.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2006

    an empty mirror

    exciting, suspenseful page turning. All I can say, and I talk a whole lot so thats saying something.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2006

    Of Empty Mirrors and Conflicting Nicks...

    Holy Moley! Talk about seeing double! When I first picked this book up, I was expecting something about vampires and a SCARY story. I was way off the mark, but none the less I found myself looking into mirrors frequently to make sure I didn't have a homicidal reflection after me...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2006

    The Empty Mirror

    This boook was outstanding. It was a great book to read I think.I have read so many books that I do not remember most of them, but I surely will remember this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2006

    awsome

    lots of suspense and action . I recamend it to everone who loves mystery and ghost books

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Weird

    I had to read this book for school and it looked really good but didn't explain everything in a very attentive way. I would give this book two stars because it had an interesting point at times but could't stay that way the whole story. The author could make the book better by paraphrasing most of what he already wrote. If i had to recomend this book I think 10 to 11 year olds should be reading "The Empty Mirror" by Collier. !Thanks:)!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2006

    The empty Mirror: its an empty mirror

    this book is for the suspesne lovers. i think it was good. not the best book i have ever read, but still.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2006

    Read A Story About A Functionally Invisible Teen

    The Empty Mirror,a fictional masterpiece, by James Lincoln Collier was the first book I read in my school book club.It was one of the best books I have read this season. If you like mystery,suspense,drama,or action I recomend this book to you.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2006

    The Exciting backcover, but dissapointing book!!

    Like when i got the book i thought, HEY THIS WILL BE AN AWESOME book, but then like when i read it it like really didnt fit the discription! in my opinion i think that this boo wasnt good, but you may dissagree, if you like suspence and drama and action, HERE IS UR BOOK! I tought GYPSY was an swesome charactor and i loved that charactor but i didnt like Nick because he was a little weird( but who isnt?¿?) Well i gots to go! of you like suspence and drama and action , get to reading this book! BYE

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2006

    Kind of Confusing....

    I never did find out what year this story takes place. It says his parents died in 1918, which means that it must be at least 1931 or so in the book, yet some of the things they say don't really sound like things that would be said in 1931. I don't know, I just wish that the author would have specified more.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2005

    The useless book.

    This book deplicts totally bias history and fails to give a plot. It takes you on an indulgence trip to nowhere.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2005

    good book

    this book was good. it had a good plot and had a surprising ending. it kept twisting and turning until the end when it finally answerd the questions they asked in the bigginng. very good

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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