I Don't Know How the Story Ends
I Don't Know How the Story Ends

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Annotation: Twelve-year-old Isobel is unhappy about spending the summer of 1918 at her aunt's home in Hollywood with her mother and sister until her cousin, Ranger, involves the girls in creating the perfect film and, when her father returns from the war, his serious injury becomes their inspiration.
Catalog Number: #171834
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2015
Pages: 279 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-492-63147-7 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-3332-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-492-63147-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-3332-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2015016027
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
School Library Journal
Gr 5&11;7&12; Isobel's father is serving overseas in the Great War, and she misses him terribly. But when her mother moves the family from Seattle to Los Angeles for the summer, her world is truly turned upside down. This is the golden age of cinema, and Hollywood is the center of it all. Isobel's tour guide is her stepcousin, Ranger, a biracial renegade auteur with a habit for sneaking onto film sets to stalk his favorite directors. Ranger and his friend Sam, the son of an alcoholic cameraman, have a plan to make a moving picture and enlist Isobel and her impulsive little sister, Sylvie, to star. Unfortunately, this plan also involves more than a little "borrowing" of film equipment and facilities. The 13-year-old sheds her responsible nature and is swept up in the allure of it all. Cheaney's well-researched descriptions of the complex filmmaking equipment and processes of the silent era will surely amaze any reader used to casually filming their world with a smartphone. Cheaney also recounts several real silent films of the era, which may encourage some readers to broaden their movie-watching choices. The narrative tends to feel unnecessarily long at points, but the electrifying setting of early Hollywood, along with the ever-relevant story of a young girl's search for stability in an increasingly chaotic world, make this a winner. VERDICT Industrious, creative, and resourceful young characters will charm those interested in the life-changing magic of filmmaking.&12; Anna Murphy, Berkeley Carroll School Library, Brooklyn
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Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
Word Count: 67,128
Reading Level: 5.7
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.7 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 182840 / grade: Middle Grades+
Lexile: 850L

Our story begins in a dusty little town in California, a bustling place called Hollywood... Isobel Ransom is anxious. Her father is away treating wounded soldiers in France, leaving Izzy to be the responsible one at home. But it's hard to be responsible when your little sister is chasing a fasttalking, movie-obsessed boy all over Hollywood! Ranger is directing his very own moving picture... and wants Izzy and Sylvie to be his stars. Izzy is sure Mother wouldn't approve, but scouting locations, scrounging film, and "borrowing" a camera turn out to be the perfect distractions from Izzy's worries. There's just one problem: their movie has no ending. And it has to be perfect - the kind of ending where the hero saves the day and returns home to his family. Safe and sound. It just has to. The Wild West atmosphere of early Hollywood and the home front of a country at war form a fascinating context to award-winning author J. B. Cheaney's new novel about the power of cinema in helping us make sense of an unexpected world. "I Don't Know How the Story Ends will grab you by your shirt and drop you right into the early days of Hollywood and movie making. Peopled with delightful characters who find that real life is not just like the movies, this is a funny, insightful, and touching celebration of friendship and family, the imagination, and the power of the movies." -Karen Cushman, Newbery Award-winning author of The Midwife's Apprentice "This book is a love letter to the art of storytelling, exploring how the creative process becomes something bigger than ourselves. It's a celebration of the way stories help us see our own lives more clearly." -- Caroline Starr Rose, author of Blue Birds "J. B. Cheaney masterfully combines a family's pathos in wartime, a vivid sense of old Hollywood (including appearances by the era's superstars), PLUS a suspenseful, creative adventure through an entirely new kind of storytelling: MOVING PICTURES!" -Cheryl Harness, acclaimed author of Mary Walker Wears the Pantsand The Literary Adventures of Washington Irving

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