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Bray, Libba.
A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY
New York : Random House, 2003.
IL YA
ISBN 0385730284

2 booktalks

Booktalk #1

Gemma longs to go to school in London.  She is tired of living in India and can't understand why her mother won't let her go to boarding school.  But then the unthinkable happens.  Her mother commits suicide and Gemma finds herself tucked in at Spence's boarding school.  Here she learns what life has to offer for young girls in a Victorian society.  The girls are expected to learn to be good wives and abandon their own ambitions to support their husbands.  Girls from lesser society are trained as governesses.  Here, Gemma also learns the frightening truth about her mother's death and the age-old Order of sorceresses.

Booktalk #2

In 1895 after her motherís mysterious death in India, sixteen-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off to an English boarding school whose mission is to prepare girls for marriage to wealthy men. At first, she is picked on by a group of catty girls, but Gemma possesses magical powers that enable her to turn the tables on them. Soon, a select group of four begins to leave school in the middle of the night for a cave off-campus where the girls enter into another dimension and where their most fervent wishes are granted. Tragedy results from their dalliance into forbidden territory and lives are changed forever. (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2005-2006)

SUBJECTS:      Magic -- Fiction.
                        Supernatural -- Fiction.
                        Boarding schools -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fiction.
                        England -- Social life and customs -- 19th century -- Fiction.

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