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Come Fall

by A. C. E. Bauer

Published by Random House, 2010
231 pages
ISBN: 978-0-375-85825-3

Ages 10 - 13

A blend of realism and fantasy moves back and forth between a story about three outsiders who become friends in junior high school, and a secondary plot involving the Faery Queen Titania, King Oberon, and Puck. Salman Page is a new kid at school, and Lu Zimmer is assigned to be his designated buddy. Salman and Lu’s friendship is tentative at first. But when Lu sees how Salman’s dark skin and foster child status, not to mention the crow that follows him around outside, make him a target of other kids, she takes his side without question. Lu is not sure what Salman will make of Blos Pease, but Salman likes Blos (who appears to be somewhere on the Autism spectrum) because he’s always genuine. The subplot in this otherwise solid work of realistic fiction relates to Salman. Queen Titania promised Salman’s mother that she would watch over the boy until he reached adulthood: Salman’s crow was sent by her. But the heart of A. C. E. Bauer’s compelling novel is the friendship among the three distinct and likeable young, contemporary teens. Bauer provides a rich portrait of her protagonists’ lives as she reveals how their deepening friendship challenges them all to be braver and stronger in many ways.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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