Alien Game

Catherine Dexter, Author
Catherine Dexter, Author Morrow Junior Books $15 (204p) ISBN 978-0-688-11332-2
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-688-15290-1
Prebound-Other - 204 pages - 978-0-606-15837-4
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Dexter's (Mazemaker; The Gilded Cat) well-crafted science-fiction thriller centers on an eighth grader who, unbeknownst to her teachers and fellow students, is actually an alien planning to gain control of her classmates so that she can transport them to another galaxy. Sensible Zoe, the narrator, twigs to Christina's secret early on when she sees Christina turn into ``a huge swarm of sparks, like a spiral of gnats.'' No one-especially not Zoe's parents-will believe her, not even when a strange sickness befalls the school, students start acting completely out of character, and teachers and administrators laugh off concerned parents. A school game called Elimination, played by tagging-or ``killing''-other students and teachers, frames the eerie goings-on, which culminate in a dramatic scene on a deserted mountaintop. Dexter is adept at the art of suspense, manipulating several story lines that converge remarkably in the climax, and lifting the veil on hidden information at just the right moments. Ages 10-up. (May)
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