Author: DeStefano, Lauren
At Brassmere Academy for the Extraordinary, twelve-year-old Plum and her best friends share adventures in dreams each night, but when Artem disappears they discover alarming secrets about Brassmere and its intentions.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 199274
Kirkus Reviews (05/01/18)
School Library Journal (03/01/18)
Booklist (+) (05/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/06/18)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2018 Gr 5–7—Plum has been dreaming in sync with her three best friends, Vien, Gwendle, and Artem since they were babies. The nightmares they confront together feature strange creatures and perilous quests—the children often die in these horrific dreams. The friends all live at Brassmere, a secluded academy for progenies with special gifts. When Artem goes missing, the kids begin a search, and disturbing secrets about Brassmere are revealed. Regrettably, the intended purpose for the children's gifts is never explained in the rapid dénouement. The children themselves are also sketched very simply. The short length and juvenile cover seem to suggest the book for younger readers, but given the dark nature of the material may make this a better fit for middle schoolers. VERDICT A gripping adventure with interesting leads that remain mostly unexplored in this succinct and spooky contemporary fantasy. Buy where Mary Downing Hahn's books and other scary titles circulate well.—Erin Reilly-Sanders, University of Wisconsin-Madison - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/01/2018 *Starred Review* DeStefano’s newest dark tale takes readers to Brassmere Academy for the Extraordinary, secretly located deep within the woods. Here 200 orphans with peculiar abilities reside and are carefully monitored by headmaster Dr. Abarrane and his team of pink-suited adults. While this scenario will strike readers as ominous, it is quite normal to Plum, Vien, Gwendle, and Artem—four Brassmere students who lucidly dream in tandem. These dreams often house monsters that Plum and her friends must slay, but their nighttime exploits have grown stranger and more dangerous lately, and the Pink Suits’ questions about the dreams more unusual. When Artem disappears after an incident at the school, he reaches out to Plum in her dreams, warning that, “They’re coming for us.” Plum is baffled by his message but determined to find her missing friend, and in the process, discovers truths about Brassmere that sting with betrayal. DeStefano adeptly conjures a foreboding atmosphere throughout this slim novel, which will grip readers from prologue to epilogue. The writing is evocative and concise, and the story satisfyingly contained. Many novels showcase the supernatural elements their stories hold, and while these are integral to Plum’s narrative, it is the friendship shared by the four dreamers that takes center stage. A natural fit for Stranger Things fans, this eerie novel is a gem. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.