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Once dead, twice shy
Book
2009
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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

Madison is dead. After she fled her prom with a mysterious guy and ended up in a crashed car only to survive and then be struck down by this guy's magical sword she has existed in a curious state of purgatory. She still walks around, interacts with others, eats, and sleeps, only now she does so in the company of Barnabas, a light reaper a kind of angel who fights off dark reapers trying to harvest the souls of people about to make fate-altering decisions. There are also timekeepers, dark wings, guardian angels, seraphs, and magical amulets. If you're already clutching your head in despair, you won't be alone: the architecture of Harrison's world is confusing even after several explanations. However, for ardent fans of the good-looking undead, this has plenty of verve, an enjoyable role reversal (Madison is constantly rescuing the good-guy hunk), and is quite fun when the supernatural characters are placed within a regular high-school milieu. Like it or not, a sequel is rising from the underworld as we speak.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2009 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

This urban fantasy promises attitude and mystery but doesn't deliver. Seventeen-year-old Madison Avery was mostly killed on prom night by a dark reaper, Kairos. Since she stole Kairos's amulet she's technically dead, but for reasons involving Kairos and the morgue, she's still in possession of a corporeal form. Dark reapers are after her, and she's determined to protect herself and the cute boy, Josh, who's a part of the reason she's dead in the first place. Readers may not know that this novel is a followup to the events of Harrison's short story "Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper," which appears in Prom Nights from Hell (2007). The events of that story set the stage for this novel, but the author does a poor job of recapping. She's equally inadequate at connecting the afterworld to Madison's present, explaining the many powers the supernatural creatures have and making readers understand complicated afterlife politics. Madison's thoughts and dialogue are uneven, and the revelation of the reasons behind her unusual death feels anticlimactic. Readers looking for stories of the afterlife are advised to look Elsewhere. (Supernatural. YA) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
What will it take for the American people to enact a more democratic version of themselves? How to better educate democratic minds and democratic hearts? In response to these crucial predicaments, this innovative book proposes that instead of ignoring or repressing the conflicted nature of American identity, these conflicts should be recognized as sites of pedagogical opportunity.Kerry Burch revives eight fundamental pieces of political public rhetoric into living artifacts, into provocative instruments of democratic pedagogy. From "The Pursuit of Happiness" to "The Military-Industrial Complex," Burch invites readers to encounter the fertile contradictions pulsating at the core of American identity, transforming this conflicted symbolic terrain into a site of pedagogical analysis and development. The learning theory embodied in the structure of the book breaks new ground in terms of deepening and extending what it means to "teach the conflicts" and invites healthy reader participation with America's defining civic controversies. The result is a highly teachable book in the tradition of A People's History of the United States and Lies My Teacher Told Me.
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