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4.6 3
by J. Alison James

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-- A fantasy novel that incorporates mythology and legend. The setting is emphasized by spare, clean sentences, and readers will feel the light and sunny atmosphere of a summer in Sweden. Runa visits her grandfather and learns much about her family that she would rather not know. In an old family Bible, she discovers that all female ancestors born on Midsummer's Day died on their 13th birthday. Runa's 13th birthday is the following Saturday, Midsummer's Day. When she and a childhood friend make a rubbing of a stone embedded in a church wall, Runa has a vision that graphically shows her the first ancestral sacrifice. She enlists the help of two friends, a friend's mother, and her grandfather, who seems sadly resigned to the ancient chain of events. Through the reading of her Rune stones, they piece the puzzle together. Up to this point, readers will be enthralled and anxious to learn the solution, but the ending comes in a short burst of unexplained phenomena, and the story concludes with a confusing cloud of events. However, James's strong characterization, beautiful writing, and inclusion of Viking mythology will intrigue YAs. --Julie Halverstadt, Douglas Public Library District, Castle Rock, CO

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Customer Reviews

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Runa 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be un-put-down-able. I read it in one sitting, and stayed up past midnight to do it. I am a middle-aged lady, but I enjoy young-adult novels. I disagree with the editorial reviewer who said that the ending was unexplained and confusing. I found it to be perfectly clear.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just read this book for a 6th grade project and I thought it was very captivating and exciting! However, I would not recommend this book to horse lovers because a horse sacrifices its life. I will always remember the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this story when I was around the age of 12, and I still ponder some of the things brought up by the author. I found the information on the vikings to be fascinating, and the selfless and sacrificing acts of Runa linger in my memory. Definately a book to read.