• Title: Black Mirror
  • Author: Nancy Werlin, Cliff Nielsen
  • Released: 2001-10-01
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 249
  • ISBN: 0803726058
  • ISBN13: 978-0803726055
  • ASIN: 0803726058
From Publishers Weekly The snowy prep school setting is the perfect backdrop for Werlin's (The Killer's Cousin) chilling and well-constructed mystery. Her narrator is a unique creation, a girl who begins to discover herself as she unravels a huge conspiracy. Frances Leventhal, half Jewish and half Japanese and confused about her identity, comes from a dysfunctional family: her father writes unpublishable science fiction and her mother has entered a Buddhist monastery in Osaka. Attending the elite Pettengill School only because of a scholarship, she has trouble connecting with anyone except a retarded groundskeeper and her art teacher. However, when her brother dies of a heroin overdose, Frances feels compelled to join the charitable organization that he was obsessed with. But something's not right about Unity Service nor with one of its student leaders, her brother's girlfriend Saskia, who's determined to keep her out. Frances's aptitude for art feels familiar, and her relationship with the groundskeeper, Andy, who's slow but true and calls her by her full name, is a bit too precious, but readers will empathize with Frances and her sense of alienation and longing. Even as Frances and Andy start to put the pieces together, Werlin continues to take readers through unexpected and exciting turns. Ages 12-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-Werlin has written an intriguing story using subtle foreshadowing to build tension and create a sense of urgency while weaving a psychological study of a high school student who has no friends and little self-esteem. Abandoned by her mother and raised by an emotionally distant father, Frances, a teen of Japanese-Jewish descent, struggles to accept herself and cope with her brother's suicide. She recognizes that to come to grips with her guilt and grief, she must understand the reasons behind Daniel's tragic death. Daniel was actively involved with Unity, their private school's charitable organization, but Frances avoided it, even though it was responsible for both siblings' scholarships. She feels the need to carry on his work with Unity despite the unwillingness of the group to accept her. As time passes, she senses that things are not right; teachers, students, and the organization itself are not who they seem to be. What she uncovers puts her own life in danger and leads to some shocking truths about Daniel's life and death. Readers will relate to Frances's internal and external struggles as she tries to sort out the motives of the various characters with whom she comes in contact. Werlin has hit the jackpot with this well-written and masterfully developed novel. A can't-put-it-down mystery thriller.

Susan Geye, Crowley Ninth Grade Campus, TX

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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