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Annotation: Quintessence is an extraordinary story from Jess Redman about friendship, self-discovery, interconnectedness, and the in... more
Catalog Number: #238808
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 384
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-374-30976-0 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8619-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-374-30976-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8619-5
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In the wake of moving to a new town, 12-year-old Alma seems to have lost herself. Depression and the sudden onset of panic attacks worry her parents, who have been pushing her to acclimate, but when Alma happens upon an old, abandoned curiosity shop, a strange old man gifts her with a magical telescope, a mysterious quest, and sudden purpose. After a star the form a child lls from the sky into Alma's backyard, she understands that she must help the celestial being return to its home in the heavens and, in doing so, connect with new friends d reconnect with herself. Redman's (The Miraculous, 2019) sophomore novel is a cozy contemporary fantasy that balances fresh, cosmic world building with painful personal challenges this case, panic attacks and the struggle of acclimating to a new home. Short chapters and tight pacing keep things moving at a brisk clip, and readers will no doubt enjoy following Alma and her new friends on their fantastical treasure hunt of sorts. A warm, engaging adventure.
Kirkus Reviews
Fantasy with a STEM infusion.Alma has what her family calls “episodes,” or panic attacks, and her parents are worried. They’ve recently moved to Four Points, and they really want Alma to fit in. She doesn’t. But when she sees a flyer for Astronomy Club, she knows it’ll please her parents, and so she goes. There are only two other kids when she gets there: Hugo, who doesn’t attend regular classes because he’s very advanced (and also socially awkward), and Shirin, who is the first person to notice that the flyers seem to have been very specifically placed to attract these particular children. Then there’s the ShopKeeper, whose store is never open but whom Alma is always running into—and who always seems to know what she needs to do next. What’s next is convincing her friends that the other night, Alma saw a star fall from the sky, and as it fell, it became a person—a Starling. This complicated setup gives way to a quest involving astrophysics and cosmology, as the children sneak around town trying to put together all the elements required to send a star back to the sky where she belongs. Both Alma’s severe anxiety and panic attacks and Hugo’s social ineptitude are portrayed sensitively, not as jokes. Alma is white, Hugo appears black, and Shirin is Persian American.This won’t fly off shelves, but it’ll be just the right mirror for a very particular reader. (Fantasy. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly
A girl suffering panic attacks after her family moves to a new town finds purpose when she-s lent a special telescope that allows her to witness a star falling to Earth in child form. To help the Starling recover its power and return home, 12-year-old Alma Lucas and her new friends, including supersmart but socially awkward Hugo and multitalented, popular Shirin, must collect and unite pristine samples of the four classical elements-earth, air, fire, and water-from locations around the town of Four Points. But with a bully on their tail, the Starling proving difficult to catch, and Alma-s episodes increasing, this quest won-t be easy. Mixing modern science and alchemical traditions, Redman (The Miraculous) delivers a fanciful adventure with a rich emotional core and a fairy tale flair. An emphasis on Alma-s mental health and circular thought patterns proves an effective complement to the story-s magical elements, as her new endeavor and friends grant her the resilience to navigate her needs. Reminiscent of Neil Gaiman-s Stardust, this is a clever, entertaining story with its own distinct identity. Ages 8-12. Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties. (May)
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Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7

Quintessence is an extraordinary story from Jess Redman about friendship, self-discovery, interconnectedness, and the inexplicable elements that make you you . Find the Elements. Grow the Light. Save the Starling. Three months ago, twelve-year-old Alma moved to the town of Four Points. Her panic attacks started a week later, and they haven't stopped--even though she's told her parents that they have. She's homesick and friendless and every day she feels less and less like herself. But one day she finds a telescope in the town's junk shop, and through its lens, she watches a star--a star that looks like a child--fall from the sky and into her backyard. Alma knows what it's like to be lost and afraid, to long for home, and she knows that it's up to her to save the star. And so, with the help of some unlikely new friends from Astronomy Club, she sets out on a quest that will take a little bit of science, a little bit of magic, and her whole self. This title has Common Core connections.

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