The Calling

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Rebecca, Max, Theo, and Noah may be back home, but life hasn't been easy for them. The book opens with Rebecca in intensive care, suffering from an ailment contracted while in ElseWhere. Max has joined a bike gang, and Noah and Theo have spent the last nine months building a new hideout. This volume has less action than its predecessors and uses mystery and suspense to set up a new adventure. A silent hooded figure approaches Rebecca in the hospital and beckons her to follow, ultimately reuniting her with Noah and Theo. She convinces them to return to ElseWhere to find her a cure. There the friends are once again trapped when their portal unexpectedly closes. Meanwhile, Max is fast on their heels in his attempt to rejoin them. The story ends just as the action begins. There is no narration, and while the dialogue is sufficient, the beautifully drawn images, which vary greatly in perspective, are what move this story. When Rebecca hides on a train, readers view the scene from above and over the shoulder of the conductor as well as from the ground looking up at him as Rebecca does from her hiding spot. The cinematic storytelling, glossy pages, and vivid colors lend the mood of an epic adventure and provide an interesting contrast to the cartoon-style characters. Readers will delight in exploring the beautiful landscapes again and again, and the cliff-hanger ending will leave them wanting more.—Kim T. Ha, Elkridge Branch Library, MD
Children's Literature - Lauri Berkenkamp
This English-language version of a French graphic novel opens with a young girl named Rebecca lying in a hospital bed, apparently dying of a mysterious disease. A strange, ghostly figure appears to Rebecca, and she realizes that when the ghost is around, she feels just fine. Rebecca follows the ghost to the nearby train station where she and the ghost board a train bound for a town called Northwood. Meanwhile, a boy named Max is being bullied by members of his brother's gang as they make mischief at a seaside town, which the reader subsequently realizes must be Northwood, since Rebecca comes out of the train station and Max sees her. Max knows Rebecca and follows her. Rebecca heads to a place she calls "Grandpa Gabe's" but is horrified to see that the house has been torn down. Another boy named Noah appears who also knows Rebecca. He takes her to a secret hideout where he explains that he and yet another friend named Theo managed to save "the machine." As Noah, Theo, and Rebecca converse in the cave, it becomes clear that the machine allows them to go to a different world called Elsewhere, where they have been before. In fact, Rebecca is sick with some illness she contracted in Elsewhere, and they must go back to the other world to save her. Meanwhile, Max enters the cave looking for the kids. He, too, uses the machine to go to Elsewhere and is in pursuit of the other kids when he meets a mysterious old man who turns out to be Grandpa Gabe. Max and Grandpa Gabe are looking for the other kids in a desert-like landscape when the book ends. The novel is clearly a continuation of an ongoing story, and readers familiar with the previous installments will undoubtedly have no trouble understanding which character is which, why they do what they do, and what the relevance of Elsewhere is. However, as a stand-alone this book does not work at all. There is no summary of the action of the previous books anywhere in the text, so for readers unfamiliar with the earlier installments, none of the action in the book will make much sense at all. This is book four in "The Elsewhere Chronicles." Reviewer: Lauri Berkenkamp
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761360698
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Series: The Elsewhere Chronicles Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 9 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: GN310L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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