Hearn, Julie. Sign of the raven.

Author:Flint-Ferguson, Janis
Position:Brief Article - Young Adult Review - Book Review

HEARN, Julie. Sign of the raven. Simon and Schuster, Atheneum. 336p. c2005. 0-689-85734-9. $16.95. J

Tom is a 12-year-old only child living at his grandmother's house in London. His mother is recovering from cancer and has returned to set things right with her own mother. Tom has cared for his mother, helping her through the treatments, and he is not happy to be spending time with a grandmother he barely remembers. But what he does remember is that the basement contains more than boxes and cobwebs. Through a whirling "gap" in the basement floor, Tom is transported to London of the late 19th century and into the housing area of London's "monsters." These monsters are the "freaks" who populate the fairs and street shows--the bearded lady, the contortionist, the dwarf and the giant, all of whom made money for their "owners." Tom meets Astra, the Changeling Child, a tiny and dwarflike girl of no discernible age, a "performer" men pay to see and to touch. She has called to Tom through the centuries and...

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