The Resource First light, Rebecca Stead

First light, Rebecca Stead

Label
First light
Title
First light
Statement of responsibility
Rebecca Stead
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
When twelve-year-old Peter and his family arrive in Greenland for his father's research, he stumbles upon a secret his mother has been hiding from him all his life, and begins an adventure he never imagines possible
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • The father of 12-year-old Peter is a glaciologist, his mother, a genetic scientist. Peter is thrilled when his father decides to take the family on his latest excursion to Greenland to study the effects of global warming. Fourteen-year-old Thea lives in a secret society called Gracehope under the Greenland ice. After finding a map that leads her to the surface, she becomes obsessed with seeing the sun and bringing her people back above ground. Peter and Thea accidentally meet on the surface and discover, through a secret kept by Peters mother, that their destinies are unexpectedly joined. This debut novel is slow to start, and Steads world building isn't quite convincing. There are some gaps in Gracehope's invented mythology, and the motivations behind the creation of the underground utopia are vague and simplistic. But the icy setting and global-warming theme are well realized, and middle-school fans of Neil Shustermans Downsiders (2000) and Jeanne DuPrau's Books of Ember will also enjoy this solid, well-meaning fantasy. -- Jennifer Hubert (Reviewed 04-15-2007) (Booklist, vol 103, number 16, p45)
  • Gr 5–8— Stead's debut novel is an exciting, engaging mix of science fiction, mystery, and adventure. Thea lives in Gracehope, a world hidden inside Greenland's ice cap. Her English ancestors, hunted and slaughtered as accused witches seven generations earlier, retreated beneath the ice, settling in the cold world. But now, the population has increased to 600; births are limited and food rationed. Thea believes that the intent of the Settlers was to one day return to the world above. She and her cousin, Mattias, find the passage to that world, but in the process Mattias is hurt. Alternating with Thea's story is that of Peter, a seventh grader from New York City who is in Greenland for six weeks while his father, a glaciologist, investigates the melting ice cap. Thea's and Peter's lives cross when he finds the passage and Thea asks him to help with Mattias. He learns that his mother has a connection to Gracehope, and that his parents are trying to locate it and warn the people that, due to global warming, the community is sinking. Readers may wish that the fascinating underworld setting was described in more detail, and that the reason for the Settlers' abandoning the world above was revealed more clearly and sooner. But, Peter and Thea are fully developed main characters. Thea especially, with her growing independence from her family and her determination to help her people, is a strong and memorable protagonist. A great discussion starter of issues ranging from global warming to shunning and building a new society.—Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME --Connie Tyrrell Burns (Reviewed August 1, 2007) (School Library Journal, vol 53, issue 8, p126)
  • Stead’s debut novel rests on an intriguing premise—that a group of people with unusual powers was forced to flee England generations ago to live peacefully below the ice in the “cold world” of Greenland. Fourteen-year-old Thea is a strong-willed resident of Gracehope, named after the woman who sacrificed her life to fulfill her dream of resettling her community safely under the glaciers. However, Thea, the last woman in Grace’s direct bloodline, insists that her ancestor’s intention was never to stay in Gracehope forever, but to rejoin life on the surface. Her life is forever changed the day she and her cousin find a secret tunnel to the world above and meet Peter, the 12-year old son of two scientists from New York who are ostensibly researching global warming. Peter is a reticent child who, like his mother, suffers from headaches and unusual ailments. After a long build-up, including a seemingly ancillary scientific puzzle about DNA, the story takes on a livelier pace as the central mystery unfolds—the connection between Peter and Thea. It is a testament to the storytelling that the existence of this parallel world and the convergence of Peter and Thea’s stories, told in separate chapters, are both credible and absorbing. Young readers will find this a journey worth taking. Ages 9-12. (June) --Staff (Reviewed June 18, 2007) (Publishers Weekly, vol 254, issue 25, p54)
  • With the impending threat of global warning as an ominous backdrop, teens from very different worlds find they have much in common. Twelve-year-old Peter and his parents leave Manhattan on a scientific expedition to Greenland where Peter's father and his assistant will study the effects of global warming. After settling into the frozen world, Peter senses his parents share a secret, while he experiences migraines with strange visual effects. Meanwhile, below Greenland's surface, 14-year-old Thea lives in Gracehope, an amazing underground colony settled generations before by a persecuted group of people from England. Descended from Gracehope's original founder, Thea is convinced the future of her people lies above the ground. While Peter's visions draw him toward Gracehope, Thea's convictions draw her toward the light. As Peter struggles to figure out his parents' secret, Thea grapples with secrets in her own family. Alternating between Peter and Thea's stories, this compelling contemporary ice-age mystery introduces two engaging characters whose personal courage is tested as they discover one another's worlds as well as the truth about themselves. Thoroughly enjoyable arctic adventure. (Fiction. 9-12) (Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2007)
Awards note
A Junior Library Guild selection
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
167718
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Stead, Rebecca
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
760L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
MG
LC call number
PZ7.S80857
LC item number
Fi 2007
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 5
  • 8
Reading level
4.8
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Secrets
  • Adventure and adventurers
  • Secrecy
  • Greenland
  • Greenland
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
First light, Rebecca Stead
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
642097
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
328 pages
Isbn
9780375840173
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2006039733
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780375840173
  • (OCoLC)81853564
Label
First light, Rebecca Stead
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
642097
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
328 pages
Isbn
9780375840173
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2006039733
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780375840173
  • (OCoLC)81853564

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Howson BranchBorrow it
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      30.2982508 -97.7675915
    • Little Walnut Creek BranchBorrow it
      835 W. Rundberg Lane, Austin, TX, 78758, US
      30.3632362 -97.6984619
    • Terrazas BranchBorrow it
      1105 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX, 78702, US
      30.2599154 -97.7334621
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