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In Other Lands
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In Other Lands
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Georgia Peach Award Nominee Florida Teens Read Award Nominee ABC Best Books for Young Readers Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year A Junior Library Guild Selection Hugo & Locus...
Georgia Peach Award Nominee Florida Teens Read Award Nominee ABC Best Books for Young Readers Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year A Junior Library Guild Selection Hugo & Locus...
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  • Georgia Peach Award Nominee Florida Teens Read Award Nominee ABC Best Books for Young Readers Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year A Junior Library Guild Selection Hugo & Locus award finalist The Borderlands aren't like anywhere else. Don't try to smuggle a phone or any other piece of technology over the wall that marks the Border — unless you enjoy a fireworks display in your backpack. (Ballpoint pens are okay.) There are elves, harpies, and — best of all as far as Elliot is concerned — mermaids. "What's your name?" "Serene." "Serena?" Elliot asked. "Serene," said Serene. "My full name is Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle." Elliot's mouth fell open. "That is badass." Elliot? Who's Elliot? Elliot is thirteen years old. He's smart and just a tiny bit obnoxious. Sometimes more than a tiny bit. When his class goes on a field trip and he can see a wall that no one else can see, he is given the chance to go to school in the Borderlands. It turns out that on the other side of the wall, classes involve a lot more weaponry and fitness training and fewer mermaids than he expected. On the other hand, there's Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle, an elven warrior who is more beautiful than anyone Elliot has ever seen, and then there's her human friend Luke: sunny, blond, and annoyingly likeable. There are lots of interesting books. There's even the chance Elliot might be able to change the world. In Other Lands is the exhilarating new book from beloved and bestselling author Sarah Rees Brennan. It's a novel about surviving four years in the most unusual of schools, about friendship, falling in love, diplomacy, and finding your own place in the world — even if it means giving up your phone.
 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Sarah Rees Brennan was born and raised in Ireland and now lives in New York City. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Tell the Wind and Fire and the Lynburn Legacy series among others. Her website is sarahreesbrennan.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2017
    Four years in the life of an unloved English schoolboy who's invited to a secret magical school and learns that even in fantasyland, real life is messier than books.If Elliot's story seems familiar, the impression fades quickly. Ginger-haired, white Elliot, an undersized nonpracticing Jew, is a total brat. When the 13-year-old crosses into the Borderlands and sees he's more intelligent than most of the other kids--and adults--he's quick to say so. He doesn't form a circle of friends so much as an alliance of distrustful mutual advantage. With Luke Sunborn, a flaxen-haired, blue-eyed, white golden boy, Elliot tutors Serene, an ethereally beautiful elf with "pearl-pale" skin, who's determined to excel twice as much as any other student. Elliot's initial interest in Serene is despicable; he aims to fake friendship until she grows to love him. But over the course of four years training among child soldiers, Elliot, unsurprisingly, grows up. His slow development into a genuinely kind person is entirely satisfying, as is his awakening to his own bisexuality and to the colonialism, sexism, and racism of Borderlands society. Only one human character, the beautifully and sparingly drawn Capt. Woodsinger, appears to be a person of color. A stellar, if dense and lengthy, coming-of-age novel; those with the patience to sit through our hero's entire adolescence will find it a wholly rewarding journey. (Fantasy. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 7, 2017
    Elliot Schafer is a small-for-his-age 13-year-old who is prone to being bullied—largely due to his personality, which slots somewhere between insufferable know-it-all and sarcastic jackass. When Elliot’s class travels to a “random field in Devon, England” for a supposed scholarship test, he instead winds up in a strange world known as the Borderlands, which are filled with elves, mermaids, and other creatures. So begins Brennan’s hilarious, irreverent, and multilayered coming-of-age fantasy, set over several years. Elliot quickly befriends (and falls for) Serene, a fierce elven warrior, and arranges a reluctant truce with Luke Sunborn, the son of one of the Borderland’s founding families. All three—along with every young person there—are training in war or as councilors, charged with protecting the fragile barrier with the human world. Amid shifting relationships, the threat of war, and substantial growth among the characters, Elliot’s razor-edged wit and general inability to keep his mouth shut make for blissfully entertaining reading. Smart explorations of gender stereotypes, fluid sexuality, and awkward romance only add to the depth and delight of this glittering contemporary fantasy. Ages 13–up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2017

    Gr 8 Up-It would a bit of a misnomer to label Brennan's latest book as fantasy. Readers looking for an epic tale full of magic and the like may initially find themselves a bit disappointed. However, if they stick with protagonist Elliot Schafer until the end, they'll be duly rewarded. The story begins with Elliot at age 13 and follows the next four years of his life as a magic school student in a place called the Borderlands. With no friends in the real world, a mother who ran off when he was a baby, and a father who couldn't care less, Elliot understandably has a few issues and uses sarcasm as a coping mechanism. Nevertheless, he befriends an elven warrior named Serene and a human named Luke. They work through the roller coaster of adolescence, all while dealing with an impending war. Though magical creatures and settings appear throughout, they serve merely as a backdrop to the characters as they struggle with their friendship, ideals, identity, and sexuality. The author turns sexist lingo usually used against women on its head and instead directs it at the male characters (in one instance among many, it's mentioned that men are most desirable in their youth and are told to smile more). The feminist aspect of the novel sometimes comes off as a bit preachy. VERDICT This is a unique coming-of-age tale with strong messages about the complexities of love and life. A solid choice for YA collections.-Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • DOGO Books ajg16 - Absolutely loved this book! Definitely read it you are 15 and up. Thanks for reading (this extremely short) - Ajg15's Reviews

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