Monday, December 03, 2007
The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy
When Zoe Sharp gets recruited for the swanky Allbright Academy by none other than Secretary of State Martha Evergood, she says that she will not attend without her twin brother J.D. and her older sister Franny. All of them are relatively freaked out by the 2 days of testing, but thanks to Zoe's moxie, they all end up on the picturesque campus, and are thinking that this opportunity is too good to be true.
Franny is bothered at first by the perfection of the place. Everyone seems flawless in appearance and in habits. Who has every heard of a perfectly clean dorm that houses 6th-12th graders? But eventually she gets over it. She is realizing her potential and changing her ways with the help of her PD (personal development) counselor. Her grades are climbing, her room is neat, and she wants her friends to do as well as she is doing. Cal looks amazing, compared to when Franny first met her, and she's much more positive, and Brooklyn is changing his name to Brook and cutting off his dreads so that people will take him seriously.
Franny, Cal and Brooklyn are a threesome whenever it's possible. They sign up for the same field trips and the same PE option. One day while they are on their PE hike, Cal doubles over in pain. Franny, Brooklyn and Cal try to carry her back to the dorms for help. It turns out Cal's appendix has burst and she needs emergency surgery. Cal is out of the picture for weeks.
When Cal comes back, she is different. Very different. And she has a theory about why this is. Is Allbright Academy exerting control over it's students? How is this being accomplished?
Franny, Cal and Brooklyn are soon knee deep in a mystery that has enormous repercussions. Can a school drug its students and get away with it?
Diane Stanley has written and fun, intriguing and fast paced mystery with a hook every kid who has ever gone to school will love. The cover is spot on, and I've had many middle schoolers reach for my arc over the last week. Mystery lovers, and fans of boarding school fiction will approve!