Reviews for Night Tourist


Booklist Reviews 2007 November #1
Although only a freshman in high school, Jack Perdu is a classics whiz who is helping a Yale University scholar with her new translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Since the death of his mother, the boy has become increasingly withdrawn and friendless. When he's accidentally struck by a car, his life changes dramatically. Sent to New York for a medical consultation, Jack finds himself exploring an unknown underworld beneath the city alongside a fascinating girl who calls herself Euri. Is it coincidental that Jack's favorite Greek myth is the story of Orpheus and Eurydice? And are those dead people he's seeing? Some of the ensuing plot twists seem more manufactured than imagined, but this first children's book by the managing editor of The New Republic has an interesting premise, rooted in mythology, and a nicely realized underworld setting. And who can complain about encounters with the shades of Brooks Atkinson, Tennessee Williams, and Dylan Thomas? Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring
A car accident prompts fourteen-year-old Jack to travel to Manhattan for the first time since his mother's death. There he meets Euri, a mysterious girl who leads him to Manhattan's spiritual underworld, where he becomes obsessed with finding his mother. Highly creative and eerily enchanting, this emotionally charged tale features elements of classical mythology. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2007 September #1
"It was just after dusk when the accident happened." This alluring first sentence grabs readers' attention, and the compelling story line will hold that interest. Marsh's story focuses on ninth-grader Jack Perdu, a prodigy of classic mythology. Absorbed in a book, Jack fails to see the car that knocks him down. He's physically okay, but after the accident he sees ghostly beings. In New York City's subway, he meets Euri, a spectral girl who leads him eight stories below Grand Central Station, and together they enter the residence of hundreds of ghosts. The spirits, several dead for more than 200 years, are suspicious of Jack, because to them he appears to be alive. Is Jack actually dead? If so, will he be able to locate his mother who disappeared years before? Both Jack and readers will simultaneously unravel the mystery surrounding the author's surreal setting as he learns how to enter and exit this supernatural world. Teenagers knowledgeable about mythology and appreciative of sophisticated wordplay will especially enjoy this intricate read. (Fiction. 12-15) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 October #2

Marsh, a New Republic editor making her children's book debut, reworks the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in a supernatural tale about a 14-year-old boy's quest through an underworld in New York City, in search of his late mother's spirit. After introverted ninth-grade prodigy Jack Perdu is involved in a near-fatal accident, he is sent to see a specialist in Manhattan. There he meets Euri, a self-proclaimed "urban explorer" who reveals herself to be a ghost--part of a vast and complex community of people who have died in NYC. (Euri tells Jack that he might be able to find his mother if she has not completed her unfinished business in the world and "moved on" to Elysium, which is "somewhere in the Hamptons," by her best guess.) Euri becomes his personal tour guide as they explore the city by night, when ghosts can leave the underworld to roam unseen. The pair tries to avoid capture by underworld authorities as they seek Jack's mother, in the process unraveling mysteries surrounding his parents' relationship and Jack's ability to infiltrate the spirit world. Mixing numerous references to mythology and classical literature with deft touches of humor and extensive historical details (former mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, Dylan Thomas and corrupt police captain "Clubber" Williams, among others, make cameo appearances), this intelligent and self-assured debut will compel readers from its outset, and leave them satisfied as it explores universal themes of love, loss and closure. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)

[Page 54]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2007 November

Gr 5-9 --A literate and luminous retelling of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice set in the underworld of New York City. Ninth-grader Jack Perdu is a precociously gifted classics scholar who lives in New Haven with his father. When Jack is hit by a car, he suddenly finds that he can see and hear ghosts, one of whom leaves behind an odd map of New York City with his deceased mother's name written on it. His father, realizing that Jack has somehow changed, sends him to see a doctor in Manhattan. After obtaining a strange gold subway token from the doctor's office, Jack meets Euri, a mysterious girl seemingly his own age, at the Whispering Gallery in Grand Central Station. When she offers to show him around and he uses the subway token to gain entry to a hidden New York, he quickly realizes that she is dead and that what she is showing him is the ghost world. Jack is determined to bring his mother back to the living world, but as he and Euri journey through the underworld, Jack comes to realize that perhaps he is fated to do something very different. The novel combines classical references to Ovid's Metamorphoses with fascinating details about New York City history and landmarks in a way that is engaging and often humorous. The conclusion of the novel is poignant but inevitable to those familiar with the story on which it is based. Give this book to fans of Delia Sherman's Changeling (Viking, 2006) and Anne Ursu's The Shadow Thieves (S & S, 2005).--Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ

[Page 130]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2007 December
Ninth-grader Jack lives with his father on the campus of Yale University. He is a Classics scholar who does not quite fit in with the other students in his class. After a near-fatal accident, Jack is sent to see a doctor in New York, the place where is mother died eight years ago. Jack meets a girl, Euri, who offers to show him the secret places in Grand Central Station. As she takes him down to the lowest levels, he discovers that they are in the underworld and that Euri is a ghost. Jack believes that it is his chance to see his mother again, but he only has three nights to find her before he must leave, all the while being chased by Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guards the underworld. Jack resolves his feelings of abandonment and helps Euri to realize that her family misses her. This quick read holds the reader's attention. Jack and Euri are likeable teens, trying to figure out where they fit into their worlds. Engaging characters such as Professor Schmitt, another Classics scholar, and poet Ruthven Todd help them in their quest to find Jack's mother and hide them from Cerberus. Marsh creates an interesting alternate world. Students who know classical mythology will understand and enjoy the allusions in the story. This unusual ghost story will appeal on many levels.-Deborah L. Dubois 4Q 4P M J S Copyright 2007 Voya Reviews.

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