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I think the best number in the whole universe is eight.
My friend, Asim, likes numbers about as much as me, but he likes them all - odd or even.
Esmarelda, though, who lives across the street, isn't so fond of numbers and she hates maths. Singing's more her thing. She's really good, too, nearly as good as my mum. Mum's a professional singer. Or was, until we had to move.
The worst number in the universe, though, is seven. For a start it's an odd number, and it's thin and sharp and mean-looking, like a medieval scythe. So when I saw 777 on that Mustang's numberplate, I knew it was the start of something bad.
And I was right . . .
An action-packed story with a cast of brilliant characters from the bestselling award-winning Anna Fienberg.
Excellent characterization and a touching friendship mark this appealing Australian thriller. Thirteen-year-old Jackson and his widowed mother, Valerie, have moved to the suburbs to escape Valerie's scary former boss. Ever since Valerie spotted drugs at the casino where she sang, she's lived in fear. Jackson copes with the anxiety by obsessing about numbers. His narrative chapters alternate with those of Esmeralda, his new neighbor and romantic interest, an aspiring singer. Another neighbor and classmate, Asim, a Kurdish refugee, shares a moving friendship with Jackson of a kind rarely portrayed between boys in teen books. Both kind-hearted, they empathize with each other's troubles and delight in similar interests. They also share a dangerous adventure when the casino boss sends a thug to intimidate Valerie. Music plays a major role throughout, from Esmeralda's considerable talent to Valerie's sometimes tedious riffs on rock history. The local bully and Asim, too coincidentally, are also talented musicians. Although Jackson and Esmeralda's voices are often indistinguishable, they effectively pull the reader into their lives. The suspense builds toward a gripping climax, followed by a gratifying rock-and-roll wrap-up. (Fiction. 13-16) (Kirkus Reviews)
Published: 1st May 2006
Dimensions (cm): 19.800 x 13.2 x 2.100
Weight (kg): 19.9