Pale Phoenix

Pale Phoenix

4.0 2
by Kathryn Reiss
     
 

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Miranda isn't happy when sullen orphan Abby Chandler comes to live with her family. But Miranda's anger turns to shock when she learns the girl's horrible secret: Abby's parents and sisters were killed in a house fire in this very town--more than three hundred years ago. Somehow Abby survived the fire and has been living in a virtual limbo ever since.

Overview

Miranda isn't happy when sullen orphan Abby Chandler comes to live with her family. But Miranda's anger turns to shock when she learns the girl's horrible secret: Abby's parents and sisters were killed in a house fire in this very town--more than three hundred years ago. Somehow Abby survived the fire and has been living in a virtual limbo ever since.
Fifteen-year-old Miranda Browne, the extraordinary protagonist from Kathryn Reiss's first novel, Time Windows, returns for a new time-travel adventure.

Editorial Reviews

The ALAN Review - Nicholas J. Karolides
Miranda's suburban routine is disturbed when her parents decide to provide a foster home for a strangely secretive, homeless girl, Abby, whom they catch breaking into their car. Feeling aggrieved and hostile, Miranda is suspicious of Abby's motives. These suspicions seem confirmed by Abby's apparent ability to disappear, though no one else notices, and Miranda-but only Miranda-can hear her crying. Eventually, the truth is revealed: Abby died in a fire in 1693. Magically saved by a phoenix statue, she has been unhappily time-traveling ever since, never aging. Miranda, her animosity dissolved, finds a solution to Abby's dilemma. The plot of Pale Phoenix offers momentum and some intrigue. The time travel factor, however, is not fully sustained, the power of the phoenix is not clear, and the solution seems too simple. The characterizations are rather flat. Those factors along with internal clues-the relationship of Miranda and Dan, her boyfriend-suggest that younger readers, ages 11-14, will enjoy it.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-In her new time-travel adventure featuring 15-year-old Miranda Browne (heroine of Time Windows [Harcourt, 1991]), Reiss creates an intriguing situation: a 13-year-old girl, caught outside of time in 1693 when her family home burns, is doomed to go on living for centuries without growing older. When Abby appears as a lonely new student at Miranda's school, the Brownes invite her to stay with them. At first resentful of Abby's presence, Miranda begins to suspect that there is something strange about her. Where does Abby go when she disappears, and why can only Miranda hear her crying? What part does a mysterious stone whistle play in Abby's story? In the end, it takes a frightening journey back in time to resolve Abby's problems. The story contains appealing elements: hints of witchcraft, a glimpse of life in 17th-century New England, and a budding romance, but it just misses its mark. The writing style is uneven, slowing the pace. Characterization is not deep enough to sustain the extended drama of the plot, or the questions Reiss raises about life and death.-Ruth S. Vose, San Francisco Public Library
Jeanne Triner
Miranda Browne, protagonist of "Time Windows", appears in another variation on the time-travel theme. This time, she finds herself in the awkward position of both disliking and distrusting Abby, a sullen 13-year-old orphan Miranda's parents take in. She sets out hoping to discredit Abby in her parents' eyes and, instead, finds that Abby, who can disappear at will, is the victim of a terrible tragedy and is counting on Miranda to help her recapture her past life in Puritan Salem. Reiss skillfully interweaves a moving subplot about Miranda's growing love for and romance with her good friend and neighbor, Dan. Characters are interesting, well drawn, and believable, if not always likable. The historical aspects are not as developed as they might have been, the action slows down a little too much at times, and the absence of any reference to Miranda's previous adventure is a bit disorienting. These are minor problems, however, in what is a thoughtful and enjoyable book. Readers will certainly want to see more of Miranda and Dan and their delightful parents.
From the Publisher

"A book with everything a reader wants. . . . Pale Phoenix has something for everyone."--VOYA

"Once again Reiss proves herself a canny practitioner of the junior gothic, blending elements of romance and suspense with confident storytelling."--The Bulletin

"A thoughtful and enjoyable book. Readers will certainly want to see more of Miranda and Dan and their delightful parents."--Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547728278
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
08/01/2003
Series:
Time Travel Mystery Series
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,070,615
File size:
225 KB
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

KATHRYN REISS is the author of many acclaimed time-travel mystery novels for teens. She lives in northern California.

KATHRYN REISS is the author of Time Windows, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; The Glass House People; Dreadful Sorry; Pale Phoenix, a finalist for the Edgar Award; and most recently, PaperQuake: A Puzzle. A master of the time-travel mystery genre, “Reiss slips between past and present with a callous alacrity that is wondrously effective” (Kirkus Reviews). She lives with her family in Northern California. www.midgard.com/KReiss/KReissInfo.html

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Pale Phoenix 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great, but it really only makes sense if you read Time Windows first. Usually Kathryn Reiss's books have something to do with time travel or history and this one follows that pattern. Miranda, Dan, and Abby set out on a journey to find what is happening to Abby. I suggest you read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reiss has written many books; but this may be one of the most interesting. I would recomend reading time windows first though. This book is about a girl named Miranda who has this strange girl named Abby come to live with her. But Abby isn't what she seems... In Glass house people and Dreadful sorry, they also make refrences to the mysterious ABby. Highly recomended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Plae Phoenix, by Kathryn Riess, is a great book if you like to read mysteries. The title has a great meaning to the book. The characters are very realistic people with normal lives except for Abby. So if you want to find out the special meaning of the title and why Abby is so weird read this very good book.