Across the Great Barrier

Gr 6 Up—In The Thirteenth Child (Scholastic, 2009), Eff came of age and defied everyone's low expectations by saving the town of Mill River with an amazing feat of magic. Now she is 18. Some folks want her to do great things…others hope she will fail miserably and prove that the Mill River incident was just a fluke. And Eff? Her greatest wish is to explore the wild world beyond the Great Barrier, a magical wall that protects against the most dangerous magical creatures. Eff gets her wish when she is selected to accompany a scientific expedition into the wilderness. Her story continues in the measured pace of the first book, but fantasy lovers willing to take the time will find Wrede's alternative world of the Wild West richly rewarding. Across the Great Barrier can be read as a stand-alone, though readers already familiar with the characters and previous events are the most likely audience.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
Eff (Thirteenth Child) joins a scientific expedition collecting flora and fauna (magical and otherwise). Her experiences involve a shootout with sabre cats and a magic-and-revolver tussle with a creature that turns its prey to stone. Wrede continues her story of Eff's maturation in an alternate magical U.S. frontier; some of the enjoyment lies in recognizing geographical and cultural features adapted from our world.

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