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  • My Heart Fills with Happiness
  • Wolf Island

By author: Alex Van Tol
Selling Points: survival, adventure, crime
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Oct/01/2010
Lexile Level: HL610L
Fry Reading Level: 3.8
Pages: 128
Fiction Ages 12+
Price:  $9.95
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Suddenly my outrage dissolves, replaced by cold fear. It sticks in my throat. Darren takes a step toward me. I jump back, but he grabs my wrist and yanks me around, twisting my arm behind my back. Pain explodes in a series of flashing white and red lights. My body locks up with agony as my shoulder rotates toward the outer edge of its range of motion. I scream. What the hell is going on? How can this be happening to me?

I’ve never heard myself scream before. Not like this.

Jill took a job which sounded perfect for the summer, guiding tourists on trail rides in the beautiful mountains. She didn't realize that the money was terrible, the hours long and the coworkers insufferable. After a blow-up with her boss, she takes a single man into the mountains for a ride, only to find that he is a dangerous killer. When Jill fights back and manages to escape, she is in a desperate race to survive and make it to safety.

Washington State Young Adult Review Group - December 1, 2011
"Reluctant readers will like this action-filled read."
Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media - September 1, 2011
"This quick read from the Orca Soundings series will keep teens riveted to the terror Jill feels."
The Horn Book Guide - April 1, 2011
"The story is fast moving, and reluctant readers will be on the edge of their seats as Jill tries to outrun—and outthink—her tormentor in this suspenseful page-turner." - March 15, 2011
"I can't remember ever reacting to a book the way I did with Knifepoint; it was crazy to actually feel my heart beating through my chest. The story was so real; I can see how this novel could really help reluctant readers become interested in reading. It’s a very fast read, but well worth it! Four stars!"
Tri State YA Book Review Committee - January 1, 2011
"Nail-biting suspense, fast-paced adventure, and believable characters will pull even the most reluctant reader through to the end...Strongly recommended where action/adventure titles are needed."
Booklist - October 15, 2010
"From the moment Jill and her sociopathic tourist head into the mountains until her final harrowing escape, the suspense is palpable. Both reluctant and avid readers who enjoy nail-biting tension will race through to find out whether or not Jill reaches safety."
Resource Links - October 1, 2010
"Thrilling and fast-paced…[Knifepoint] will appeal to those who struggle with reading…The Rocky Mountains setting is an inspired backdrop for the gripping suspense of this novel."


YALSA Quick Picks, commended  US  2011
TriState YA Review Group Book of Note, commended  US  2011


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Teen fiction for
reluctant readers

Key Features:
Short, high-interest novels
Contemporary stories
Compelling characters
Linear plots
Ideal for Lit Circles
Ideal for Independent Reading

Teaching Resources:
Teachers' Guides
Resource Guide
Accelerated Reader selections
Lexile levels

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