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An unforgettable novel from the New York Times bestseller Gordon KormanLink, Michael, and Dana live in a quiet town. But it's woken up very quickly when someone sneaks into school and vandalizes it...
An unforgettable novel from the New York Times bestseller Gordon KormanLink, Michael, and Dana live in a quiet town. But it's woken up very quickly when someone sneaks into school and vandalizes it...
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  • An unforgettable novel from the New York Times bestseller Gordon Korman

    Link, Michael, and Dana live in a quiet town. But it's woken up very quickly when someone sneaks into school and vandalizes it with a swastika.

    Nobody can believe it. How could such a symbol of hate end up in the middle of their school? Who would do such a thing?

    Because Michael was the first person to see it, he's the first suspect. Because Link is one of the most popular guys in school, everyone's looking to him to figure it out. And because Dana's the only Jewish girl in the whole town, everyone's treating her more like an outsider than ever.

    The mystery deepens as more swastikas begin to appear. Some students decide to fight back and start a project to bring people together instead of dividing them further. The closer Link, Michael, and Dana get to the truth, the more there is to face-not just the crimes of the present, but the crimes of the past.

    With Linked, Gordon Korman, the author of the acclaimed novel Restart, poses a mystery for all readers where the who did it? isn't nearly as important as the why?

Reviews-

  • Booklist

    April 15, 2021
    Grades 5-8 *Starred Review* In the end, Korman's latest is about tolerance and forgiveness, and that can never be a bad thing--though not all the strong reactions it's going to provoke will be positive. As related by several young narrators, some of whom turn out to be unreliable, the appearance of a swastika splashed onto the wall of a small Colorado town's middle school kicks off instant responses that begin with units of "tolerance education" in school. As further swastikas appear but no culprit can be found, a massive effort to create a six-million-link paper chain as an expression of solidarity and remembrance begins. Local feelings vary, but those of two narrators take center stage. Dana, a recent arrival and the school's only Jewish student, is moderately bemused and annoyed by the way she's suddenly being treated differently. Prankster and star jock Link, on the other hand, is so shocked to learn that his grandmother is a Holocaust survivor that he contacts a rabbi and asks for a bar mitzvah. Further controversy stirs as the national attention the town draws revives long-suppressed memories of a "Night of a Thousand Flames," when, 40 years before, the then-strong KKK lit up the county with burning crosses. Bringing the past into the present and moving beyond pure emotional manipulation, this wrenching story offers much to ponder and few, if any, easy answers.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Kirkus

    June 1, 2021
    A community transformed by swastikas, and the response. Chokecherry, Colorado, is a small town with a lot going on. A group of paleontologists from Massachusetts have set up a research station after fossilized dinosaur poop is discovered in the area. Some residents still whisper about the Night of a Thousand Flames in 1978, when Ku Klux Klan members flocked to the area and burned crosses. And the local media is sent into an uproar when Michael Amorosa, a Dominican boy and one of the few students of color, discovers a swastika painted on a wall at Chokecherry Middle School. Told in alternating perspectives, the story follows the students as they embark on a lengthy tolerance-building curriculum, come up with an art project to commemorate Jewish victims of the Holocaust, deal with an out-of-town YouTuber who wants to go viral with his commentary on the story, and learn more about themselves and their family histories. The only Jewish girl, Dana Levinson, helps Lincoln Rowley study for his bar mitzvah after he learns that his maternal grandmother, rescued and raised by nuns as a Christian, was the sole member of her family to survive the Holocaust. While the story is engaging, with many twists and turns, the different voices blend together, and emotional depth takes a back seat to educational goals. There's a lot to ponder here about mistakes, intention, the difference between ignorance and hatred, and religious identity. Provocative yet cautious. (author's note) (Fiction. 9-14)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    July 1, 2021

    Gr 4-8-In a small Colorado town, lives are changed and secrets are unearthed when swastikas start appearing at the local middle school. Dana, the only Jewish girl, is on edge. Michael, the head of the art club, and Caroline, the class president, are organizing a paper chain six million links long in honor of Jewish Holocaust victims. Link, the most popular seventh grader, learns that as an infant his grandmother was saved in a Catholic nunnery from the Nazis. As the story unfolds, a popular YouTuber brings attention to the town, and Link, after learning about his Jewish ancestry, decides to have a bar mitzvah. All the while, everyone is trying to figure out who keeps drawing swastikas. In typical Korman style, this novel pulls readers in with its character development and engrossing, heartfelt story line. While the story tackles big issues such as the Holocaust and generational discrimination, the writing style remains upbeat and easy, making this a good choice for reluctant and avid readers. Five students and the YouTuber voice the chapters, bringing depth to each character's perspective. Struggles with challenging decisions, friendships, and self-discovery are common middle grade issues that readers will relate to. Some readers may be shocked to learn about the origin of the swastikas, and all will be elated by the celebratory ending. VERDICT A must-purchase, especially where Korman books are popular.-Kate Rao, Alhambra Civic Center Lib., Alhambra, CA

    Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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