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First Light

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First Light

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Peter is thrilled to join his parents on an expedition to Greenland, where his father studies global warming. Peter will get to skip school, drive a dogsled, and--finally--share in his dad's...
Peter is thrilled to join his parents on an expedition to Greenland, where his father studies global warming. Peter will get to skip school, drive a dogsled, and--finally--share in his dad's...
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
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  • Adobe EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.8
  • Lexile:
    760
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Reading Level:
    3

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Description-
  • Peter is thrilled to join his parents on an expedition to Greenland, where his father studies global warming. Peter will get to skip school, drive a dogsled, and--finally--share in his dad's adventures. But on the ice cap, Peter struggles to understand a series of visions that both frighten and entice him.

    Thea has never seen the sun. Her extraordinary people, suspected of witchcraft and nearly driven to extinction, have retreated to a secret world they've built deep inside the arctic ice. As Thea dreams of a path to Earth's surface, Peter's search for answers brings him ever closer to her hidden home.

    Rebecca Stead's fascinating debut novel is a dazzling tale of mystery, science and adventure at the top of the world.

    From the Hardcover edition.
Excerpts-
  • Chapter One Most boys his age had never touched paper. There was little left. Paper was reserved for fine drawing and important documents. Mattias knew even before he could skate that if he were to harm any of it, if he were to crease one corner of one sheet, the consequences would be serious. But Mattias could not resist his mother's drawing table. He loved the drawers and panels that opened almost without a sound, the bright vials of dye, the immaculate brushes on their small rack, the smooth wooden box of charcoal. And although he was a very obedient boy in almost every other way, he regularly explored the contents of the table when he found himself alone with it. Mattias knew its every measure, including the shape of the black dye stain that had dried inside one drawer before he was born. And each time he approached the table, he expected to find it exactly as he had always found it before.
    Today he found something new.
    It was a thick paper envelope, closed but unsealed, underneath his mother's working sketches. Mattias unwound the string closure slowly, being careful to remember the length that should be left hanging when he tied it again. Inside was a square of paper unlike anything Mattias had ever seen. One side of the square glowed with an image in color, almost as if someone had frozen a moment in time and flattened it, capturing every detail. Even his mother, considered the most talented artist now alive, couldn't create anything like this. Mattias turned it carefully in his hands, holding the square by its sharp corners. It was an image of two women. Sisters, he thought. And there was something else--a glowing blur behind them.
    The sun.

    Seven Years Later

    A headache, Peter thought as he lay in bed with one arm thrown over his eyes, is something you have to experience to understand. No one can describe a headache to someone who has never had one. He rolled to one side and reached for the little spiral notebook on his night table.
    Peter's mother had gotten headaches for as long as he could remember. They sometimes lasted for days, during which she sat in the red chair next to the pull-out couch where his parents slept. She didn't eat, or laugh, or make the "proper supper" she otherwise insisted upon. She hardly got up at all. "She's gone away again," his father would say. "But she'll be back." It happened maybe twice a year.
    Everyone said how much Peter was like his mother-- their skin that was nearly paper white, their all-over freckles, their wavy hair (hers dark, his blond like his father's), even the way they sneezed (always twice), and laughed (very quietly, after one loud sort of bark). So Peter had always assumed that, like his mother, he would get headaches one day, and that, when he did, they would be headaches just like hers.
    Peter paged through the worn notebook. It had his friends' phone numbers in it, and the names of some video games he wanted if his parents ever let him get a video game, and the address of a company in Oregon that sold old radio parts for almost no money, and a bunch of other things. He flipped to the inside back cover, where he had made a series of slashes.
    Just after his twelfth birthday, Peter's mother began asking him whether he had a headache. She had never asked him that before, and he couldn't help thinking it was strange she had to ask at all. Wouldn't it be obvious when he had a headache? Wouldn't he, too, sit in the living room and never smile or get hungry? But she kept asking, every week or two, always smiling carefully, as if she were expecting bad news. So they waited, together.
    Peter got his first headache a few months later. He knew right away what it was, and three things surprised...
About the Author-
  • Rebecca Stead is a former attorney who lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children. This is her first book.

Reviews-
  • The Horn Book Magazine "Peter and Thea are vividly realized. . . . Gracehope itself is sketched with sure strokes, its icy setting and its matriarchal social structure fresh and believable."
  • Publishers Weekly "Stead's debut novel rests on an intriguing premise. . . . It is a testament to the storytelling that the existence of this parallel world and the convergence of Peter and Thea's stories, told in separate chapters, are both credible and absorbing. Young readers will find this a journey worth taking."
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Random House Children's Books
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Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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