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Abarat Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Barker, Clive

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ISBN: 0060596376     ISBN-13: 9780060596378
Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: September 2004

Annotation: Barker's "New York Times" bestseller continues the story of young Candy Quackenbush from Chickentown, U.S.A., who embarks on an epic, life-changing journey when she dives from a barren field in Minnesota into the enormous Sea of Izabella. Full color.

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Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Space and time; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2004119089
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Series: Abarat
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 6.75" H x 4.25" W x 1.00" (0.50 lbs) 431 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 64593
Reading Level: 5.5   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 15.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q33000
Reading Level: 6.5   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 23.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
" A journey beyond imagination
is about to unfold. . . ."

It begins in the most boring place in the world: Chickentown, U.S.A. There lives Candy Quackenbush, her heart bursting for some clue as to what her future might hold.

When the answer comes, it's not one she expects.

Welcome to the Abarat.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring)
Candy Quackenbush discovers that her inner voice is Princess Boa. After Candy frees her, Boa becomes her newest enemy, along with vicious would-be empress Mater Motley and Candy's father. Barker's surrealistic world, shown in his "vast array of paintings" interspersed throughout the story, is imaginative. However, the book is visually and conceptually crowded; there's too much going on to follow or care about.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Fall)
Only intending to find a subject for her term paper, Chickentown, Minnesota, resident Candy Quackenbush finds herself in a strange and perilous otherworld. Like the dozens of sophomoric but intriguingly baroque paintings that illustrate this hefty fantasy, Barker's writing features a host of arresting images and odd characters, but its narrative line meanders with the arbitrary twists of a computer role-playing game. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2004 October #1)
Candy Quackenbush travels from Chickentown, Minn., to a fantastic otherworld of unbelievable characters, including the Lord of Midnight, Christopher Carrion. "The author's imagination runs wild as he conjures some striking imagery." (Barker's surreal illustrations are not included in this paperback.) Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2006 November #3)
A girl is caught in an otherworldly feud between eight-headed John Mischief and the "Lord of Midnight," in this fantasy novel with "plenty of thrills and chills," according to PW. Ages 12-up. (Oct) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2002 June #4)
Like The Thief of Always, Barker's first book for children, this tale finds a bored protagonist venturing into a fantastical world. The novel begins with a rather cryptic scene of three women on a "perilous voyage... [emerging] from the shelter of the islands." The action then shifts to Candy Quackenbush of Chickentown, Minn., who hates her life as the daughter of an alcoholic father and a depressed mother. One day, humiliated by her teacher, Candy skips out of school and heads for the prairie, where she stumbles on a derelict lighthouse and a creature with eight heads, John Mischief. The opening scene and the thrust of the novel gradually connect, as Candy begins an adventure to a mysterious archipelago called Abarat. Skilled at fantasy, Barker throws plenty of thrills and chills at readers. Candy becomes a pawn between Mischief and the man (Christopher Carrion, "Lord of Midnight") from whom Mischief has stolen something of great value. However, by the middle of the novel, readers may feel that Barker pulls out too many stops; he floods the pages with scores of intriguing characters and a surfeit of subplots (some of which dead-end, perhaps to be picked up in one of the three planned sequels). The author's imagination runs wild as he conjures some striking imagery ("Dark threads of energy moved through her veins and leaped from her fingertips" says one of the three women in the opening scene) and cooks up a surreal stew of character portraits (rendered in bold colors and brushwork, they resemble some of Van Gogh's later work). But much of the novel feels like a wind-up for the books to follow and, after this rather unwieldy 400-page ride, readers my be disappointed by so many unresolved strands of the plot. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) FYI: A national marketing campaign is planned for the Abarat series, for which movie, theme park and multimedia rights have been purchased by Walt Disney Pictures. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2011 October)
[Page 148]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2002 October)
Gr 7-10-Candy Quackenbush is tired of her humdrum existence in boring Chickentown, MN. After skipping out on a particularly frustrating day of school, she wanders into an empty field at the edge of town, and suddenly her life takes a remarkable turn. Through a series of most unusual events, she finds herself transported to the Abarat, a magical realm composed of 25 islands, each representing one hour of the day, with the mysterious Twenty-Fifth designated for Time Outside of Time. As she travels around the islands, Candy becomes involved in a power struggle between two ruthless and bitter rivals, Rojo Pixler of Commexo City and Christopher Carrion, the Lord of Midnight. Each man seeks to control the island chain, and Candy may be the deciding factor in its survival or destruction. Barker is obviously more comfortable in the Abarat than he is in our more mundane world; the chapters that take place in Chickentown don't seem fully developed. Once Candy is safely in the fantastical realm, however, the story takes off. The rendering of the Abarat's locales, cultures, and mythology, combined with the author's own full-color illustrations and well-realized characters, allows readers to become quickly immersed in this beautiful and frightening world. In spite of a less-than-credible, almost preternatural calm in the face of the bizarre, Candy makes a fine protagonist, displaying strength, vulnerability, and a lack of the forced spunkiness displayed by some adventurous heroines. This first book in a series of four sets the stage nicely for what is sure to be a rollicking, epic ride.-Alison Ching, North Garland High School, Garland, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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