The Walls Around Us

By: Nova Ren Suma

Violet is a Juilliard-bound dancer with a dark past. Amber is a ghost doomed to relive tragedy in a girls’ detention center. Ori is the girl who brings them together—with fateful consequences.

ISBN: 9781616203726

JLG Release: Jun 2015


Sensitive Areas: Strong language, Violence, Strong sexual themes, Bullying
Topics: Juvenile detention homes , Ballet dancers , Supernatural , Ghosts , Bullying , Revenge

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Awards & Honors

Capitol Choices 2016
SLJ’s Best Books of 2015, Young Adult
Horn Book Fanfare List: Best Books of 2015, Fiction
Booklist Best Young Adult Books of 2015
Amazon.com Best Books of the Year 2015, Teen & Young Adult
YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults 2016
2016 Edgar Awards Nominee, Best Young Adult
2015 Cybils Awards Nomination, Young Adult Speculative Fiction
Children’s Book Committee Bank Street College of Education, 2016 Best Children’s Books of the Year, Fantasy

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books*, Book List*, The Horn Book Magazine*, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
This haunting and evocative tale of magical realism immerses readers in two settings that seem worlds apart. The book is told in alternating first-person voices from the perspective of two teenagers: lonely Amber, who at age 13 was convicted of murdering her abusive stepfather and sent to Aurora Hills, a juvenile detentio
[STARRED REVIEW]
This haunting and evocative tale of magical realism immerses readers in two settings that seem worlds apart. The book is told in alternating first-person voices from the perspective of two teenagers: lonely Amber, who at age 13 was convicted of murdering her abusive stepfather and sent to Aurora Hills, a juvenile detention facility, and Vee, an insecure yet ruthlessly ambitious Julliard-bound ballerina.Through Vee’s and Amber’s recollections, readers learn about talented, kind-hearted Ori, Vee’s former best friend and a dancer herself, who after being convicted of a heinous crime is sent to Aurora Hills, where she becomes Amber’s roommate—and where soon after a strange tragedy occurs. Though the plotting of this taut, gripping suspense leans heavily on ghosts and murder and will easily attract teens, this is no mere thriller. The prose is mesmerizing, laced with visceral, gorgeous figurative language, and draws subtle parallels between the disciplined, constricting world of ballet and the literal prison in which Amber and Ori find themselves. Believable and well developed, Vee and Amber have strong, unforgettable voices that ring true. Suma’s unflinchingly honest depiction of the potentially destructive force of female friendship and skillful blending of gritty realism with supernatural elements is reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls (Viking, 2009), and the eerie mood she evokes is unnervingly potent. VERDICT A powerful story that will linger with readers.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

Horn Book

[STARRED REVIEW]
Orianna Speerling—the so-called “Bloody Ballerina”—is just seventeen when she is convicted of murdering two rival dancers. A month after her sentence begins, all forty-two girls interned at the Aurora Hills Secure Juvenile Detention Center are dead—victims of an unexplained mass killing. Ori
[STARRED REVIEW]
Orianna Speerling—the so-called “Bloody Ballerina”—is just seventeen when she is convicted of murdering two rival dancers. A month after her sentence begins, all forty-two girls interned at the Aurora Hills Secure Juvenile Detention Center are dead—victims of an unexplained mass killing. Ori’s story is gradually revealed through the eyes of two unreliable narrators. Violet is Ori’s affluent best friend, a fellow dancer who knows more about Ori’s crime than she’ll ever admit—especially if the truth might jeopardize her future at Juilliard. Amber is an inmate at Aurora Hills who pushes the library cart from cell to cell—quietly waiting out a long sentence and keeping secrets of her own, such as having visions of girls she’s never met. In lyrical, authoritative prose, Suma weaves the disparate lives of these three girls into a single, spellbinding narrative that explores guilt, privilege, and complicity with fearless acuity. Amber’s voice is particularly affecting—she narrates from an eerily omniscient first-person plural perspective that speaks powerfully to the dehumanizing realities of teen imprisonment. The twisting, ghostly tale of Ori’s life, death, and redemption is unsettling and entirely engrossing. jessica tackett macdonald

Book Details

ISBN

9781616203726

First Release

June 2015

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Fic

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

336

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.6; Points: 13;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.6; Points: 20;

Lexile

Level 860L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Algonquin

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Strong language, Violence, Strong sexual themes, Bullying

Topics

Juvenile detention homes, Ballet dancers, Supernatural, Ghosts, Bullying, Revenge,

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