Cashman, Erin The Exceptionals
Holiday House 2012 236p $16.95
978-0-8234-2335-4 ms E-BN Science fiction
In a family where everyone has "special" abilities, fifteen-year-old Claire is nothing special, or so she leads the world to believe. After she gets into minor trouble at the public high school, she is transferred to Cambial Academy, which was started by her family to help students develop their special abilities such as telekenesis, mind reading, and clairvoyance. As the most talented students, called "exceptionals", start to mysteriously disappear, Claire hears rumors that the school will be saved by someone who can talk to animals. Claire can sometimes hear animals talk and understand them. She decides to cultivate this talent.
As the plot deepens, Claire discovers that it is up to her to save the day, but whom can she trust? And who is causing the problem of the disappearances, and why? Can she really pull this off?
This story is fast-paced and full of surprises. Students will be fascinated with the special talents of the students and the ways that Claire develops her own. With the variety of characters, this title will find wide appeal. It is well written and the suspense keeps building to the end.