Numbers by Rachel Ward

numbersCindy: Our teens nabbed our advance reader copy of Numbers (Scholastic/Chicken House, 2010) and wouldn’t give it up, so after hearing them rave about it at book club week after week, I got my hands on the audio version (Brilliance, 2010) and I can understand their enthusiasm. Jem sees numbers when she looks into people’s eyes. When her mother dies on the date that matches the numbers she has seen in mum’s eyes Jem becomes fearful of her “talent.” Years later, after avoiding relationships in her various foster homes, she becomes friends with Spider, and they are near the London Eye Ferris wheel when Jem sees the same date over and over again in the eyes of those in line….that day’s date. She and Spider are seen running from the area when the bomb explodes, and they are wanted for questioning. Jem has also seen the number in Spider’s eyes, less than a dozen days away, and while she refuses to tell him of his impending death, she is desperate to find a way to change his fate or to savor the days they have. I can’t rave enough about the narration done by Sarah Coomes. I heard her voice in my head for weeks after listening to this book. You can hear a sample here. In addition to enjoying the fast paced plot, our teens are eager to talk about the themes in this book. Our days are numbered…how do you choose to spend yours?

Lynn: I know it sounds crazy but sometimes when I’m reading a fabulous book, I find that I slow down the closer I get to the end. I don’t do it consciously – I just suddenly realize that I’ve slowed down my reading pace and that I’m putting the book down at the end of the chapters. I do it with audio books too – stopping the player at the end of a chapter. Like I said – it’s crazy and I don’t know why I do it except maybe to prolong the pleasure of the book. Well – it took me a looooong time to finish Numbers. The closer to the end I got, the slower I got. Finally I had to finish it. The suspense was killing me but I didn’t want to end my relationship with Jem. What a character and what a voice! As Cindy says, we’ve been trying to get this book away from our teens since we were first sent it. They love it and we love it. Jem is going to be in my head for a long time and it was all I could do at the end of the audio to keep from putting disc 1 right back in! The only thing that got me to move on is that I read that there is going to be a sequel. Awesome!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

1 Comment on "Numbers by Rachel Ward"

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  1. grrrrrrrrrrrrr >:( i want to read this book Mrs. Dobrez pweese ūüôĀ

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