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The Diviners

By: Libba Bray

New York City, 1926: Evie uses her secret supernatural gift to help investigate a series of murders. She uncovers an awakening evil that threatens all mankind. Author’s note.
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ISBN: 9780316126113

JLG Release: Jan 2013


Series: The Diviners
Sensitive Areas: Language: Mild Language, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Alcohol Abuse, Illustrations/Images: Blood/Gore, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Reference or Discussion
Topics: Psychic ability , Occultism , Murder , The 1920s , New York City

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Awards & Honors

Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of 2012, Fiction; SLJ Best Children’s Books 2012, Fiction; Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Books of 2012; 2012 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, Nominee; Los Angeles Public Library Best of 2012 Teen Books; YALSA 2013 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults; Booklist 2013 Top 10 Books for Youth, Historical Fiction; Booklist 2013 Top 10 Books for Youth, SF/Fantasy

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal*, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Set in 1920s New York City, this literary tour-de-force from Printz Award-winner Bray offers grand themes, complex characters, and suspense. After her secret gift for divining information from objects lands her in trouble, 17-year-old Evangeline O’Neill is sent from Ohio to live with her uncle, who runs a museum s
[STARRED REVIEW]
Set in 1920s New York City, this literary tour-de-force from Printz Award-winner Bray offers grand themes, complex characters, and suspense. After her secret gift for divining information from objects lands her in trouble, 17-year-old Evangeline O’Neill is sent from Ohio to live with her uncle, who runs a museum specializing in folklore and the occult in Manhattan. Evie is a quintessential flapper: not really bad, but rebellious and yearning to fly free of her Babbitt-like existence. Although she starts out her new life like the party girl she was back home, her pursuits become more serious when her uncle is asked to help solve a series of strange murders. She crosses paths with Memphis Campbell, a black numbers runner in Harlem, whose power to heal by laying on hands failed him when he tried to save his mother. Other characters include a homosexual composer who meets people in dreams, a Ziegfeld girl with a past, a pickpocket searching for his family, and a young research assistant with his own secrets. Bray develops each of these characters and their gifts, gradually bringing them together in a chilling and thrilling battle with Naughty John, a paranormal serial killer. Over the course of the novel, people (mainly good) smoke, drink, and use other illegal substances. These peccadilloes are contrasted with the values of the hellfire-and-brimstone cult that spawned Naughty John. The compelling and dramatic supernatural plot explores self-actualization, predestination, the secrets everyone hides, and, of course, good versus evil. An absolutely terrific read and, thankfully, the first in a planned series.—Nina Sachs, Walker Memorial Library, Westbrook, ME

Horn Book

Bray’s lavish supernatural thriller plunks a macabre series of occult murders into the grit and gaiety of 1920s New York. Newly arrived in Manhattan, seventeen-year-old Evie O’Neill doesn’t plan to fade into the woodwork. As she tells friends back home in Ohio, “I’m going to be written up in all the papers and get invi Bray’s lavish supernatural thriller plunks a macabre series of occult murders into the grit and gaiety of 1920s New York. Newly arrived in Manhattan, seventeen-year-old Evie O’Neill doesn’t plan to fade into the woodwork. As she tells friends back home in Ohio, “I’m going to be written up in all the papers and get invited to the Fitzgeralds’ flat for cocktails.” The first half of this prediction comes true, but not in the way she expects. Evie’s Uncle Will runs the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, a.k.a. the “Museum of Creepy Crawlies.” Early on, Miss Addie, Will’s eccentric elderly neighbor, recognizes that Evie is a diviner, someone with a special connection to the spirit world. Eventually Evie’s more-or-less secret power to access people’s memories by touching one of their possessions allows her to help Will track Naughty John, a truly eerie ritual killer who happens to have died fifty years earlier. Bray switches perspectives among a variety of characters, some of whom also have supernatural abilities: a Harlem numbers runner and poet; a world-weary Ziegfeld Follies dancer; the rakish con artist who fleeces Evie and then falls for her. At times the novel feels overstuffed with period detail, as if Bray got a little too giddy about her research. Yet wisecracking Evie is a likable heroine, and all signs point to intriguing complications and more malevolent spirits on the rise in succeeding books. christine m. heppermann

Book Details

ISBN

9780316126113

First Release

January 2013

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Fic

Trim Size

6" x 9"

Page Count

608

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.8; Points: 23;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.5; Points: 35;

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Little, Brown

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Mild Language, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Alcohol Abuse, Illustrations/Images: Blood/Gore, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Reference or Discussion

Topics

Psychic ability, Occultism, Murder, The 1920s, New York City,

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