Sarah's Stars

David Ward.  Escape the Mask
Scholastic  $5.99  ISBN 0-439-98768-7  171 pg.
Reviewed by Melissa, Age 14

The Onesies all screeched at once. I threw my hands over my ears, partly to stop the roaring echoes that vibrated throughout the caves, but more importantly, to hide from their terror. Shuddering, I pulled one of my braids around to my mouth and sucked on it. When the sobbing finally settled I shut my eyes as well, and imagined the sunlight, the high grasses, the ceaseless ocean and Pippa's warm breath on the back of my neck. It would be cold tonight, especially after the First Cleansing.

Coriko, Pippa, Tia, Bran, Thief and Feelah, are only six of the hundreds of slaves. They are forced to work all day long for the Spears. The Spears, a group of seemingly heartless people, are cruel and vile. The Grasslands are the places where they work, yet they know nothing about the outside world. The six friends are desperate to get out, to escape. Secretly, they make plans, which starts the beginning of a very long journey, a journey full of exploits, emotion and danger.

The first thing I noticed about this novel was the emotions. The emotions were both deep and strong. When the characters felt something, it was expressed extremely well. The story is filled with mystery, as well as humor. I enjoyed this story, and the way the people were brought to life.

I would recommend this book, Book I of The Mask Trilogy, for readers twelve and up. Escape the Mask contains murder and death, as well as joy and laughter. I loved these aspects of the book; it kept me anxiously turning each page. Escape the Mask is a great one-day read that will make you think.

Five out of Five stars! Escape the Mask was a great book, and I especially liked the way it started off. It was stimulating, right from the very first page.

RATING:

Editor's Note: Read Melissa's review of Book 2 in the series, Beneath the Mask, in KIdsWWwrite #52.

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