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Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2013 Gr 4–7—In this installment in the series, Mass continues to weave reality with fantasy, action, and plot twists to draw readers into her story. The Last Present pairs 13-year-old best friends, Amanda and Leo, to unravel the mystery of why 10-year-old Grace has become catatonic following their friend David's bar mitzvah. While visiting Grace, Angelina D'Angelo appears as her nurse, and the friends know that the mysterious old woman with special powers is involved. Amanda and Leo are instructed to journey to the past, specifically to Grace's previous birthday parties, to undo a curse that has befallen her. But, do they have enough information to reverse it? Angelina has a habit of leaving out important pieces of a story in order to get her way. With the help of their friends, Amanda and Leo are up to the challenge and begin their time-travel adventure. Woven seamlessly into this fantasy are the realistic issues that tweens encounter. Young love, sibling rivalry, and embarrassing parents are as much a part of this adventure as the time travel. Although part of a series, The Last Present can stand on its own, but readers will want to find the earlier titles once they have visited Willow Falls.—Annette Herbert, F. E. Smith Elementary School, Cortland, NY - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.