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The world will end on Thursday, July 27, 2000.
At least, that’s what Reverend Bilson has told his congregation.
Marina’s morn believes him. So does Jed’s dad. That’s why Marina and Jed join one-hundred and forty-two of the reverend’s congregation at a mountain retreat. From the mountaintop they will watch the Righteous Conflagration that will end this world, and then they will descend and begin the world anew.
But this world has only just begun for Jed and Marina, two teenagers who are uneasy about about the End of the World—as well as about faith and their parents. It’s not fair: Why should the world end now, when their lives are just starting—when they’ve just discovered love for the first time in their life? …[more]
Mr. Elives’s magic shop is back, and this time it is on the other side of Tucker’s Swamp. And Tucker’s Swamp is where Charlie Eggleston heads to escape a beating-for lying. Charlie can’t seem to keep from lying, though sometimes his lies are for a good cause. When Charlie stumbles into Mr. Elives’s magic shop, his eyes light upon The Skull. Charlie steals The Skull and it puts him under some sort of spell—he can only tell the truth. Trouble is, now no one believes him…
Jennifer Murdley, a homely fifth-grader who would give anything to be beautiful, accidentally stumbles into a magic shop and purchases a very ugly toad. The toad, it turns out, can talk and ends up getting Jennifer into the worst trouble of her life. This madcap, head-spinning adventure is also a thought-provoking story about the nature of true beauty.
If Howard Morton and Freddie the Frog Killer were trying to hold you down so that Mary Lou Hutton could kiss you, you might run as fast as Jeremy Thatcher did the day he stumbled into Mr. Elives’ Magic Shop.
And if you stumbled into that strange shop, you, too, might be asked to make a choice. What would you buy? The Chinese rings? The Skull of Truth? Or the dragon’s egg?
And if you did buy the dragon’s egg, what would you do when you found out you were supposed to hatch it?