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No Passengers Beyond This Point

Review

No Passengers Beyond This Point

India, Finn and Mouse Tompkins have experienced enough of the bad things in life. Finn is the man of the house, with his father being gone, and feels a desperate need to hold things together. India, like any teenage girl, wants to be accepted for who she is and not rely on others to tell her who or what she likes. And little Mouse, who desperately wants to get along with her bigger sister India, listens to her best --- and imaginary --- friend Bing for advice in all situations. When their mother reveals the worst possible news, India, Finn and Mouse don't know what to do.

It had been coming for a while, at least according to overdue notices on the mortgage payment arriving daily, but India, Finn and Mouse weren't expecting their mother to send them off to their uncle's house in Colorado practically overnight. So with great reluctance, they find themselves strapped into an airplane without any time to catch their breath. The flight went according to schedule: India and Mouse fought the whole time, while Finn tried to keep the peace. None of them were looking forward to landing in Colorado, but they had no idea what to expect when they landed.

First, a baby-faced taxi driver named Chuck picks them up in a pink cab covered with feathers and starts issuing them warnings about where they're going --- and how to escape. Then they're ushered into Falling Bird (not exactly close to Colorado) with fanfare, bright new homes built especially for them, and way cooler moms. All of the kids get lost in the dreaminess of their new surroundings before things take a turn for the worst. Finn finds out the truth about where they are and that they have a one in 100,000 chance to get to their uncle's house in Colorado. But that's not the worst of it. India is missing in action, and Mouse has been hurt.

What follows is a complex journey that will stretch India, Finn and Mouse in ways they couldn't have imagined. India will need to figure out once and for all whether or not she really wants to belong to a family that doesn't get her. Finn will finally get the chance to prove himself, but it might end with him failing miserably. Mouse may have to give up her best and imaginary friend Bing in order to put her trust in an unreliable source. Beware the sign that says "No passengers beyond this point!"

Gennifer Choldenko has found success in her popular Al Capone books, and fans will be thrilled with her take on the supernatural in NO PASSENGERS BEYOND THIS POINT. It marks a departure from her witty realistic fiction to a story that's a mix of THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ and THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH. There's action, bad guys, lots of dogs, creepy welcoming committees, danger, and an ending that you'll have to read at least twice. Fasten your seatbelts, because this is one wild ride!

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on February 8, 2011

No Passengers Beyond This Point
by Gennifer Choldenko

  • Publication Date: February 8, 2011
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dial
  • ISBN-10: 0803735340
  • ISBN-13: 9780803735347