The Orphan's Tent

Overview

Del Schofeld is a talented and mysterious up-and-coming rock singer who one day vanishes. Her perplexed friends trace her to Virginia, where a strange old woman assures them that Del is not dead, just missing. Picking up clues along the way in diners, nightclubs and city streets, the group catch drift of a bizarre tale--that of a cultish 1930s orphan heist. Young Adult.
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Overview

Del Schofeld is a talented and mysterious up-and-coming rock singer who one day vanishes. Her perplexed friends trace her to Virginia, where a strange old woman assures them that Del is not dead, just missing. Picking up clues along the way in diners, nightclubs and city streets, the group catch drift of a bizarre tale--that of a cultish 1930s orphan heist. Young Adult.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7-10Del, a young singer-songwriter, vanishes mysteriously. Her friends eventually realize that she has been taken away by an unusual young man who calls himself Orphan Jude. It turns out that Jude needed to find another orphan like himself in order to use a magical tent, the creation of a 1930s cult leader, to transport himself to another world. When Del's friends finally find the tent, two of them travel to that world to bring her back. The premise is interesting, but it takes a while for any real excitement to develop. The author lets suspense build slowly, spending time introducing the personalities of the characters. The light romantic elements are fairly dull and predictable, detracting from the more interesting search for Del. A powerful psychic named Dead Mary makes occasional appearances to help the young people, adding to the offbeat tone of the novel. Though this book is an intriguing blend of science fiction and mystery, the attempts at humor and character development are not successful enough to make it especially compelling.Steven Engelfried, West Linn Public Library, OR
Kirkus Reviews
De Haven (for adults, Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies, p. 549, etc.) makes a quirky gang of New Jersey rock and rollers the unlikely heroes of this hilarious adventure.

Ike, community college drop-out turned independent recording producer, isn't a typical YA protagonist, but this twentysomething hard-luck case has traits to endear him to readers: a pessimistic outlook, protective cynicism, and, underneath it all, a desperate sense of isolation. Ike and his sister, Alice, who owns the local record store, meet Del, a pretty drifter bursting with raw talent as a rock singer. Ike's plans for promoting Del abruptly end when she disappears right before a gig; Ike and Alice team up with pals Fletch and Bo to find the missing songbird. Some arguing and amateur sleuthing lead the quartet to the charismatic and sinister Jude Hayser; although he claims to have known Del only briefly, he is connected with the bizarre disappearance of a group of orphans back in the 1930s. Of course, Hayser knows that the orphans were teleported to another world, where he now plans to send Del and himself. The ensuing battle leaps from this world to the next in a burst of excitement, wise-cracking dialogue, and bonhomie. Bing's few black-and-white illustrations add a sense of menace to the story, an incredible and entertaining adventure that never falters in its realistic portrayal of young people, with all their flaws and strengths in focus.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689319679
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Series: Chill Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 0.81 (d)

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