Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1)

by Christopher Paolini

Hardcover, 2005

Call number



Knopf Books for Young Readers (2005), 528 pages


In Aagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters.

Media reviews

''Eragon,'' for all its flaws, is an authentic work of great talent. The story is gripping; it may move awkwardly, but it moves with force. The power of ''Eragon'' lies in its overall effects -- in the sweep of the story and the conviction of its storyteller. Here, Paolini is leagues ahead of most
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writers, and it is exactly here that his youth is on his side.
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1 more
Eragon and Saphira run off with the village story teller, Brom, after the ra’zac kill his uncle, Garrow. They start to hunt the ra’zac in order to achieve revenge, however, Eragon received visions of an elf, Arya, who had been captured. They then instead went to the city she was held at, but
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Brom was killed. Eragon and Saphira were only just saved by their mysterious new friend, Murtagh. They go to the city where the elf is held, and, after Eragon himself got captured, they freed the elf. The elf is poisoned, however, so the group rushed to the rebel group, known as the Varden, in the dwarvish capital Farthen Dur. She is saved just in time to defend the city from an attack by the urgal, a monstrous race of beings being controlled by the powerful shade, Durza. In the midst of the fight Eragon, with the help of Arya and Saphira, defeats the shade bringing the battle to an end
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User reviews

LibraryThing member Cynara
Look, I love dragons. I love YA literature and fantasy. I love Novik, Cooper, Tolkein, Lewis; I love McCaffrey, Pullman, Rowling, and even Meyer. I couldn't take Eragon.

I did finish it, hoping to the last it would improve. I searched through the pages for that one thing that would make me
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continue. I looked for a vivid voice, an intriguing idea, an original world, a character I could love, a plot that wouldn't let go. I turned up nothing. Bupkus.

It's amazing that he wrote this at age 15 - but you know what Horace said; keep your manuscript ten years. I won't bore you by reciting the sources Paolini draws on, but I don't even really hold that against him. Originality isn't everything, nor is good writing (even David Eddings got some readable books on the corpse of Tolkein), but I shouldn't be groaning out loud as every exhausted adventure cliche in the genre is hauled out between new hard covers.
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LibraryThing member betty
Two or three years ago, everywhere I went there was some display attempting to sell me Eragon, by Christopher Paolini. It was obviously a bad book without opening the cover: the back cover carries a quote from the book, and an endorsement by Anne McCaffrey, and I'm pretty sure I could get that
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woman to supply a blurb for a double mint wrapper to the effect of "I couldn't put it down! An author ... to watch for!" The quote is "Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world." Please note, the author has just claimed that the world is going to be changed by a smell. Which would actually be an interesting book, sadly, not this one. I know this, because that quote is the first sentence of the book, and what the author means is "Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent giving warning of the coming of persons who would set in motion events that would change the world." I know, it lacks a certain something.

Better the eighty percent of the pit of voles, but still, undeserving of being published.

I do not blame Paolini for writing a bad book. People write, and sometimes, they write badly. But I do blame the editor, and his publishing house. This book is crap, and it should have been obvious to anyone who read it. The main character's most interesting bit of characterization and only vestige of personality is that he collects rocks, and this is only mentioned in one paragraph. He's a transparent sue. Everyone acts as if they have just acquired their motivations and history on a 3x5 card before walking on for their scene.

The plot is a clumsy clunker that is foreshadowed on page 22. He has never known his father, and his mother refused to answer questions about him! Do you think this will turn up again later? His name is Eragon. Like dragon, but with an E. An old man pops in to tell what in a better novel would be suspiciously appropriate myths and folktales every time Eragon needs to know what is going on.

Descriptive sections are often incomprehensible, as for example, "His hand was numb, his fingers paralysed. Alarmed, he watched as the middle of his palm shimmered and formed a diffuse white oval." The only reason I know what the author is intending to say there is because I have read enough fantasy to recognize the Mystical Mark.

Our hero makes decisions that make no sense, simply because they are necessary to move the plot forward. Obstacles like hiding a dragon from those living in your house are hand waved away in two paragraphs. Things that oughtn't be obstacles, like buying groceries, are, just to build sympathy with the protagonist by inserting baseless discrimination.

Why publish this!? Were they incapable of finding something more deserving? Was this book even edited? Is he someone's nephew? Publishing this book is an insult to readers and a disservice to writers everywhere, including Mr. Paolini. It's like telling someone they look great when they have spinach in their teeth. Dammit!
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LibraryThing member Terpsichoreus
Standard fantasy fare, except that while most fantasy authors lift their plots only vaguely from a previous author, Eragon is simply the first Star Wars film with castles. Princess flees, tries to keep precious item out of emperor's hands. Boy finds item. Bad guys burn down his farm and kill his
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uncle, whom he lives with. Old mysterious man turns out to be part of a secret order of knights to which boy's (now evil) father belonged. Gives boy father's sword and takes him (eventually) to princess. Dies tragically. Boy learns how to fly X-Wing, er, dragon and goes to take on his father and the evil emperor, &c., &c.

The worst part is that the author, by his own accounts, sees himself as a mix between Seamus Heaney and Tolkien, but has a control of the language more akin to your average Star Trek serial author. There are some days that I wish my parents owned a publishing company, too. However, if such a boon would require me to become so totally oblivious about my craft, I would have to decline. Yeah, I know he was 18, but so was Byron when he wrote "Hours Of Idleness".
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LibraryThing member ascexis
Good lord. A dancing bear of a book: it is not that it dances well, but that it dances at *all*. Derivative, anvilicious tripe.
LibraryThing member extrajoker
Shortly before the movie came out, I thought I'd pick up and read a copy of Eragon. A few pages shy of the halfway point, I gave it up as a bad job -- and never bothered with the movie at all.

I am baffled by those who squeal about this book's "brilliance." I couldn't enjoy it. There's too much of
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Middle Earth and Earthsea (and yes, Star Wars) in Paolini's book, and the writing is kinda...well...crap. Stilted dialog and stultified prose. Boring and unbelievable.

After I learned that the author was only 15 when he wrote (or began writing) the book, I resolved to continue reading with that in mind. But it didn't really help. I just found myself thinking it should never have been published. And wondering whether it had passed the desk of a single editor. And if so, whether it stopped in its passage or just sort of floated by without any editorial interference. (Only later did I discover that Paolini's parents are publishers. No wonder he's calling his trilogy "Inheritance.")

Still, I picked it up again and again (after putting it down again and again) in hopes that it would improve. But not so much. I hate abandoning books once I've begun them, but in this case I made an exception. I mean, reading this book was a chore. And not even an edifying chore. It's not like I'd be cutting another classics-I've-read notch into my eyeglass-case on finishing Eragon....

How come so many BEST-SELLERS are crud? I know Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crud. But must crud be so popular? I ended up leaving my copy of Eragon on a bookshelf at work, and saying good-bye to the whole Nepotism Trilogy.
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LibraryThing member Jenson_AKA_DL
All Eragon has ever known in his uncomplicated life is working his uncle's farm, hunting and the simplicity of the country. However, when a strange rock crash lands and ruins his hunt he will discover a destiny and a friendship he could have never imagined in his wildest dreams.

Coming into reading
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this book I had heard all the opinions (how could I have missed them?) both criticizing and adoring. Personally, I really did like this story. I suppose you could read parallels to other famous works (i.e. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc.) into it, but I'm not entirely sure if I hadn't heard it all before that I would have noticed the similarities. I felt it was an enjoyable, original story that was easy to follow and didn't make me feel intimidated or lost. On the other hand, up until the last few chapters I felt as though I was reading a very long prologue and that at the ending, the story was really just starting.

As a little, personal aside, I bought this book for my son years ago, before it became very popular and since that time he has been telling me I should read it, so I feel very happy to have finally done so :-) With this edition, and I'm not sure if this was corrected in following editions, I was kind of thrown off by a typesetting error which switched sentences that were supposed to be italicized with those that were not, but thankfully that part didn't last long. I never realized that it would be so offsetting. I guess I usually just take text for granted.

Overall I think that this is a very good fantasy for tweens, teens and adults with the exceptional part, of course, being that the author was so young when he first wrote it. I'd certainly suggest it for those who like epic fantasy without it being overwhelmingly complex.
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LibraryThing member LotRchica
All right, Eragon sucks. Here is my rant, and im not going to call any one an idiot because they like these books, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

Names: Vanilor = Valinor
Eridor = Eriador
Isenstar = Isengard
Ardwen = Arwen
Eldor = Elladan, Elrohir, Elrond, Eldar
Gil’ead = Gil-Galad
Rona =
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hardware store.
Murtagh = Murtag
Galfni = Gandalf.
Eoam = Eomer
Elessari = Elessar
Morgothar = Morgoth
Imiladris = Imladris
Mithrim = Mithril.
Beirland = Beleriand
Melian = Melian

Plot:Holy flying cheese! These books could be called Star of the Rings, wow man! Kid living with uncle, uncle dies at hands of some weird beast with an unpronounceable name. Kid gets some magical thing(Saphira, lightsaber you could say and the Ring). Kid vows revenge, gets help from some weird old man(Brom was ok, but too similiar to Star Wars characters and Gandalf). An epic quest takes place with a shady character(Murtagh-Aragorn(who is so much hotter than Murtagh)). Old weird man dies(oh wow…Gandalf and that other dude). Continues on blah blah blah, in this case Star Wars kicks Eragons skinny blonde butt. And someone called this an epic. Absoloutely not, not in any way shape or form is CP’s little trilogy an “epic” is a waste of paper, and he killed hundreds of thousands of trees publishing this “epic”

Brom = Gandalf, other wierd charrie from SW.
Murtagh = Aragorn
Arya = Arwen
Saphira = Ring,

One of my main rants is Eragon, in other words Marty-Sam, a character than has many tragic things happen to them, make it sportingly through, and : shows no emotion what so ever, has amazing powers that usually take years to build up, has hundreds of women flocking after them and are usually very thick.

Sure, Tolkien didn’t invent Elves or Dwarves or anything, but he gave them a very unique spin that most fantasy authors use today, many of them change them so their different, CP did not. The Elves live with nature, are wise, fair, solemn, sad because their numbers are dwindling and have an ancient unreasonable feud with the dwarves. Same thing with the dwarves, short, gruff, like to smoke and drink, wield axes, sounds familiar.

CP also has numerous inconsistencies, how could Eragon, a skinny 15 year old, push shut Saphira’s wings in a windstorm, when she herself, a Dragon, cannot? And CP seems to think that horses are machines, able to work night and day and not break down. This is unfortunate, because horses are not machines, the way CP writes horses, they would run them selves into the ground, then keep running. Zar’roc or however you write the name, is 5 feet long. Eragon wears it around his waist, this is not possible, because Eragon is normal sized. oh, one of my fave, Veggie Elves, they do not eat meat, and yet, do not care about killing animals for their skin, or other beings.

I detest his books, i have had the displeasure of reading both, and taken notes on any thing that irked me. CP needs to get himself an imagination and some backbone so he can create names that aren’t so blatantly Tolkien. The movie was a let down, and CP needs to have his brains bashed out. There, i’ve had my say…*is content*

EDIT:I would also like to say that Eragon will not appeal to the legions of readers who have been captivated by the Lord of the Rings trilogy, if being captivated means bashing and burning it then yes.

And anyone who thinks that Eragon is better than Lord of the Rings, you do really need to actually read the books or, get your head checked if you have read them. And really, the only reason he got his book published so early, was because his family decided to self publish it, mose aspiring young writers with talent do not have this option.

This book really sucks, the publishers just wanted another break out fantasy story, and since he was so young, they paraded him as a "prodigy". I'm graduating high school at 17, it doesnt mean your a prodigy, merely, you were born late.
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LibraryThing member Black_samvara
Atrocious. Unreadable, desperately in need of a good editor. I can forgive a lot and I know the author is very young but something like this making it into print just hurts.
LibraryThing member seelight
Is this kid Paolini mildly autistic? 'Cause the book is a (very competent, seamless) pastiche of three other fantasy books. There's not an original idea in it, not a single inspired sentence. How is this possible? Even the worst writer necessarily comes up with the occasional howler, entirely by
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accident. But this book is utterly without fault or virtue. It's so inoffensive, it's offensive. It's sewn together from received ideas and regurgitated diction so flawlessly that I can only explain it if Paolini is autistic.
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LibraryThing member sirfurboy
I first read this book when it was new and being heavily promoted - but I gave up after a few chapters, because it was slow, tired, cliched and clunky.

I bought it again as an ebook when a special offer became available, and gave it another go. I should not have bothered. The story was no better! I
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ended up rushing through to get the thing finished.

The writer of this book was young, and his achievemnt should not be underestimated, and indeed has now been well rewarded. But as a work of fiction, this is just not one I could recommend. I expect readers who have read very little fantasy fiction (especially young readers) will enjoy this work. But those who have read widely will find it derivative. There are better versions of the same tale.
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LibraryThing member Steve777
Disappointing patched-together combination of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and other fantasy and sci-fi works. Good job for a teenaged author, but has little other merits. But it was better than the movie.
LibraryThing member KayDekker
I don't understand what people see in this book. If you took all the bad clichés from fantasy writing and assembled them in one book, this would probably be it.
LibraryThing member Sonkissed
*takes deep breath and promises to play nice*

I kept waiting for this book to live up to the expectations that the reviews like the ones on this site set, but it never did. The writing is immature, and, when read out loud, doesn't make a lot of sense sometimes.

Words like 'Carnelian' and
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'scintillation' made me guess he was a cocky home schooler (a correct guess)... as I learned those words while I was homeschooling. His grammar seemed the be too flashy, and not very meaty. A lot of fluff, but no real quality.

The storyline was not very impressive, and rumors of plagiarism and copying were not surprising.

His characters were shallow and distant. Eragon started out as a wimp and seemed to instantaneously turn unbeatable hero with no struggles or fears. Brom was the only one with a bit of depth to him, and he was out of the picture soon enough. the other 'cool' character was in it for the rest of the book, but he still was not easy to connect with.

I enjoyed reading it for the sake of reading, but nothing more.

the argument of 'but he was only fifteen' does not sway my opinion. Great, he wrote a book while he was fifteen, but it was fifteen year old quality... on top of that, he wrote it at seventeen... A publish book should have publishing quality, his did not.
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LibraryThing member ThinkNeil
This is just one of those great stories that was good enough to read a second time.
LibraryThing member Phantasma
Wow, I didn't like this at all. It was impossible to get into and I just couldn't force myself to read the whole thing. It was boring and the writing was hamfisted. I'm not sure why people think this is so fantastic.
LibraryThing member shabacus
This book has flaws.

Like Frankenstein's monster, this book is constructed of pieces, sewn together into a grotesque whole. The flaws are not in the story pieces themselves, which function just as well as they did in their original works, but rather in the places they join up. In this book, you find
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the interaction between Tolkien's races without the history or mystery behind it. You find the deep emotional bonds from McCaffrey's Pern books, without the tenderness and constant fear of loss. You get the prophecy and sense of great events of Jordan's Wheel of Time, without the deft hand at characterization which breathed life into the legends.

In short, you have an immature work that imitates its betters, a tree fort pretending to be a house, a go-kart trying to make it on the highway. Young readers overlook the flaws because they don't have the experience to see them, but as an adult reader, I know better.

My dissatisfaction with this book does not only come from its failure to say anything new, but rather from its tone of smug assurance, its presumption of excellence, its pretention to meaning.
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LibraryThing member FionaCat
I was not impressed. The story was too derivative of The Lord of the Rings and the Dragonriders of Pern series, in my opinion. Even the names were thinly veiled allusions to Tolkien (say "Eragon" and "Aragorn" for example). Personally, I think the book only got published because the author was so
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young. If an adult had written it, it would still be in the slush pile.
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LibraryThing member thatpalechick
Stilted language, predictable and forgettable characters, and an unoriginal plot overpower what would otherwise have been an entertaining adventure. The writing feels immature, and I feel that the book suffers because of the writer's age. Paolini seems to be trying very, very hard to be Tolkien,
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and it shows in his writing. Hopefully Paolini's writing will have matured by Book 2.
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LibraryThing member BenjaminHahn
I can't really pass up the chance to rant on this book. Chris, if you're reading this don't take it too personally. This was like reading a watered down version of The Lord of the Rings mixed with a not so veiled plot of Star Wars Episode IV. It's not to hard to see the writing style evolve as the
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never ending book drags on and on. It's as if the author had to fit in a snipit of every Forgotten Realms book he ever read. Sure, there is nothing new under the sun, but there could have been a little more effort to seem original. I thought it might change with Eldest, since Chris was out of adolescence, but no, it got worse. This is a little unrelated, but I would put Eragon the movie as one of the worst films of the year. It could have been so much better than the book, and it ended up being worse. That was hard to do.
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LibraryThing member mmyoung
A piece of derivative drek.
LibraryThing member sashas
An okay read. Readers will enjoy some nice word choices and those SAT vocabulary words actually being used, and I think that this is a fine novel for a 15 year old to write... However, the dialogue is intensely expository. Eragon speaks too well to not be able to read, the plot is completely
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predictable, like Paolini wrote it from some formula. It's highly derivative without fully capturing the works it's deriving from.

If you haven't read a good deal of fantasy, this book will be fine, however if you've read A Wizard of Earthsea, Billy Thatcher: Dragon Hatcher, and the The Lord of the Rings, you maybe a bit disappointed in the lack in innovation.

Still, it's a good read if your not in for a big surprise, and the language from a sentence stand point is rather refreshing.
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LibraryThing member tipsister
I resisted reading Eragon, by Christopher Paolini for years. At first, it really didn't interest me. I'm not a big fantasy reader so a book with a dragon on the cover didn't pull me in. It was popular though so it stayed in my mind. Then I saw the movie. Oh, I did not like that movie. At all. The
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creepy Shade, Durzu, just gave me nightmares. Kudos to the actor for making an evil character really terrifying. That pretty much sealed the deal for me. I wasn't going to read Eragon.

Well, obviously since I'm reviewing the book something changed. One of my very best friends told me that she'd read the series and loved all the books. Really? Allison liked them? I trust her judgement and normally agree with her on important things like books so I thought that maybe I would consider reading Eragon. Maybe.

On an impulse I bought the book and set it up as my "E" book for the A to Z Challenge. I was dreading it. You know what? I should have read it a long time ago. It was really good. Really. I was surprised, impressed, and happy with the book. Go figure.

Eragon is the story of a teenager who happens upon a dragon's egg. When his dragon, Saphira, hatches, he is drawn into the legends of the Dragon Riders. After a tragedy with his family, he leaves his home with Saphira and Brom, the old storyteller who is committed to helping him. While his original goal is revenge on those who tore apart his family, he quickly learns that there is much more that he must do as he is the first in a new generation of Riders.

The book moves at a relatively fast pace and it's great as a reader to learn the story of the Riders along with Eragon. Saphira is a lovely character and her affection for Eragon is very sweet. I went out and bought Eldest, the next in the series, but it's going to be a while before I get to it. I recommend this to anyone who likes a good adventure, fantasy fan or not.
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LibraryThing member benfulton
Apparently written by a nineteen-year-old, but astonishingly enough it reads like it was written by a...nineteen-year-old. Naive and unbelievable, but a commendable first attempt. Perhaps suitable for young readers just getting interested in epic fantasy, but there are better choices.
LibraryThing member red_dianthus
Wow, holy Gary-Stu. I'd heard both good and bad things about this book. And both were true. The plot is really unoriginal, the main character is a painfully obvious Gary-Stu and nothing really surprising happens. Yet I enjoyed reading it. I don't think I am going to hunt down the next book, but if
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I stumble across it I might just read it anyway. I can see how kids who haven't read some of the places the plot was obviously ripped-off from could really get into this book. In a couple years I might suggest it to my daughter if she wants a big, long fantasy novel to keep her busy on a trip.
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LibraryThing member pshaw
While a lot of people are thrilled by this novel, I found it to be ho-hum same old fantasy plot without much new or interesting to recommend it. It could easily be an Anne McCaffery fanfic, if writing McCaffery fanfic wasn't a hanging offense. There's a lot more engaging, different-thinking fantasy
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out there - don't waste your time here.
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Soaring Eagle Book Award (Nominee — 2005)
Sequoyah Book Award (Nominee — Young Adult — 2006)
Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Young Adult — 2005)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades 6-8 — 2005)
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award (Nominee — Grades 6-8 — 2005)
Buckeye Children's & Teen Book Award (Nominee — Grades 6-8 — 2007)
Iowa Teen Award (Nominee — 2008)
Nēnē Award (Nominee — 2006)
Gateway Readers Award (Nominee — Young Adult Division — 1st Place — 2006)
Indies Choice Book Award (Winner — Children's Literature — 2004)
Grand Canyon Reader Award (Nominee — Teen — 2006)
Colorado Blue Spruce Award (Winner — 2005)
BILBY: Books I Love Best Yearly (Older Readers — 2007)
Florida Teens Read Award (Nominee — 2007)
Virginia Readers' Choice (Nominee — Middle School — 2006)
Golden Archer Award (Nominee — 2005)
Volunteer State Book Award (Nominee — Young Adult — 2006)
Evergreen Teen Book Award (Nominee — 2006)
Isinglass Teen Read Award (Winner — 2005)
Rhode Island Teen Book Award (Nominee — 2005)
South Carolina Book Awards (Nominee — Young Adult Book Award — 2006)


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