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Black River Falls
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Black River Falls
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Seventeen-year-old Cardinal has escaped the virus that ravaged his town, leaving its victims alive but without their memories. He chooses to remain in the quarantined zone, caring for a group of...
Seventeen-year-old Cardinal has escaped the virus that ravaged his town, leaving its victims alive but without their memories. He chooses to remain in the quarantined zone, caring for a group of...
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Description-

  • Seventeen-year-old Cardinal has escaped the virus that ravaged his town, leaving its victims alive but without their memories. He chooses to remain in the quarantined zone, caring for a group of orphaned kids in a mountain camp with the help of the former brutal school bully, now transformed by the virus into his best friend. But then a strong-willed and mysterious young woman appears, and the closed-off world Cardinal has created begins to crumble.

    A thrilling, fast-paced work of speculative fiction for teens, from a bestselling author, Black River Falls is an unforgettable story about survival, identity, and family.

About the Author-

  • Jeff Hirsch is the USA Today bestselling author of several YA novels, including The Eleventh Plague, The Darkest Path, and Black River Falls. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island. Visit him online at jeff-hirsch.com and on Twitter @Jeff_Hirsch.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 25, 2016
    In this fast-paced novel, Hirsch (The Darkest Path) has created a terrifying reality that explores identity, memory, morality, and what it means to be a family. When a flu-like virus hits Black River Falls, causing those infected to lose their memories, families are separated and children must fend for themselves. Cardinal Cassidy, 17, is one of the few who miraculously manage to evade the virus. He and bully-turned-best-friend Greer take care of a group of orphans high up in a mountain camp, away from potential predators in the town below. As Card carefully navigates this new world, watching those around him reinvent themselves, he feels increasingly trapped by memories of what happened to his family when the virus hit. These memories, coupled with the stresses of the National Guard leaving to make way for management of the town by a private corporation, cause Card to make a series of rash decisions with potentially disastrous effects. Through strong characters and thoughtful plotting, Hirsch shows that memory helps define who we are but isn’t the sole component of what makes us human. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2016
    Hirsch's latest (The Darkest Path, 2013, etc.) is an epidemic novel with a twist.A virus has struck Black River Falls. It doesn't sicken or kill its victims--it simply robs them of their memories. Teenager Cardinal Cassidy is one of the few uninfected in town. Together, he and his former bully-turned-best friend (who is infected) take care of a group of other infected children with nowhere to go. While Cardinal himself has no home to return to, he has everything under control. Then two things happen: he meets a girl, and the National Guard turns the town over to a ruthless private corporation. As the safety of his town is threatened, Cardinal must deal with new feelings and new revelations about the virus. In addition, he must confront the demons of his past. Unfortunately, narrator Cardinal spends so much time meandering into his memories--the story is structured as a "letter" to his older brother, addressed as "you"--that the plot suffers. While there are moments of beauty in Cardinal's many flashbacks, they often slow down the story's progress. When things finally pick up and Card must take action to save his town, it's too little, too late to spice up this book. Cardinal is biracial, with a white dad and possibly African-American mom, but this fact feels almost irrelevant, as it does little to inform his character.While Hirsch has created what could be an exciting concept, the reality is slow-paced and anticlimactic. (Science fiction. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    April 15, 2016
    Grades 7-10 In a letter to his brother, Cardinal Cassidy tries to explain what has happened since October 16, the day a virus spread throughout Black River Falls, wiping out the memories of everyone who contracted it. Although his parents caught it, Card protected himself by escaping into the forest and joining with Greer to protect a group of orphans. In spite of having to wear a protective mask and isolate himself, Card is convinced that all is stableuntil a private militia takes over the town. In his latest dystopian adventure, Hirsch poses a fascinating conundrum: given the choice, would you rather rid yourself of your memories, both good and bad, and start over, or continue living while accepting those memories as they play out over a lifetime? Hirsch allows the backstory to unfold slowly, salting clues as to Card's family and his former relationship with Greer. But he also interjects a sweet love story and tricky ethical and moral decisions throughout this thought-provoking novel of family and survivaland superhero comics. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The Eleventh Plague (2011) and The Darkest Path (2013) were big sellers, and a pre-pub buzz campaign, including a survival kit, should elevate this one, too.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

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    HarperCollins
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