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Askounis, Christina. The Dream of the Stone.

ASKOUNIS, Christina. The dream of the stone. Simon & Schuster. 290p. c1993. 978-1416911876. $8.99. SA

Askounis's debut novel was published over a decade ago, but this beautiful, poignant coming-of-age tale has withstood the test of time well. Sarah Lucas, recently orphaned, has been sent from her beloved Sycamore Farm to live with her Aunt Helena and Uncle Bernard in New York City. When her brother Sam, a scientific genius working in California, drops out of sight and a strange and frightening man begins to stalk her, Sarah turns to her only friend, Angel Muldoon, a half-Gypsy stable boy. Their attempts to unravel the riddle of the blue stone take them to Oneiros, another world, strange and lovely and doomed to succumb to a shadowy force called the Umbra. The force intends to possess the stalker, a man named Zvalus, giving it a physical form with which to control the planet and its population. Sarah, Angel and Sam, who created the means of transportation to the planet, must overcome Zvalus and fend off the Umbra.

Askounis has created appealing, strong characters with an authentic range of emotions and flaws. She extends the complexity to Zvalus and his henchman Oskar, giving them dimension beyond cardboard stereotypes. The plot is complicated and, at times, the novel is densely written, with strong spiritual and environmental overtones that enhance rather than overwhelm the narrative. Fans of Madeleine L'Engle's works will especially appreciate this welcome re-release. Donna Scanlon, Librarian, Marietta PA

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. This code will help librarians and teachers working in high schools where there are honors and advanced placement students. This also will help extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.
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Author:Scanlon, Donna
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2007
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