Item description for Diamonds in the Shadow by Caroline B. Cooney...
Overview The Finches, a Connecticut family, sponsor an African refugee family of four, all of whom have been scarred by the horrors of civil war, and who inadvertently put their benefactors in harm's way.
Publishers Description A powerful novel about the difficulty of doing what is right. Through their love for people, yet ignorance of the unknown, the Finch Family has joined alongside their church and opened their home to an African refugee family who are moving to Connecticut. The Amabo family of four- Andre, Celestine, Mattu, and Alake: father, mother, and teenage son and daughter- arrive in great hope as they have escaped the tyranny of Africa. What the Finch Family doesn't know is that there are not just four refugees in this Amabo family, but five. As the Amabo family, who have suffered unimaginable horrors, begin to adjust to a life of plenty in the Finches' suburban Connecticut home, and the Finches are learning new lessons of "The Golden Rule." The life adjustment for all seems flawless. But the fifth refugee does not believe in good will. This lawless rebel has managed to enter America undetected. And the Amabo family has something of his--something that they agreed to carry into the country for him. When Jared, the oldest Finch son, realizes that the good guys are not always innocent, he must make a decision that could change the fates of both the Finches and the Amabos. In this uncommonly penetrating story, Caroline B. Cooney presents a fresh perspective on how doing what is right can be most difficult.
From Publishers Weekly As in her earlier Agent Orange, Cooney deftly weaves events from the wider world into the warp and woof of everyday upper-middle-class life. High school student Jared Finch is cranky and skeptical when his mother decides to host their church-sponsored family of four African refugees in their well-appointed Connecticut home. Drawn in (just as readers will be) by the drama of the refugees' acclimatization to American suburbia, Jared soon warms to the Amabos, despite a growing suspicion that they aren't exactly who they say they are. Cooney keenly conveys the various motivationsan ever-changing blend of generosity and self-congratulationof the family's hosts and church sponsors: The committee loved hearing how good and generous they were. They sat tall. They took lemon bars as well as double-chocolate brownies. Breathless urgency arises from a plot twist that would seem far-fetched if it wasn't so convincingly narrated: the Amabos are being tracked by a merciless villain who will stop at nothing to recover the diamonds he has forced the Amabos to smuggle into the U.S. Further underscoring the concept that many shades of gray lie between absolute good and evil is a subplot about funds that have been embezzled from the Finches' church. Crackling language and nailbiting cliffhangers provide an easy way in to the novel's big ideas, transforming topics that can often seem distant and abstract into a grippingly immediate reading experience. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Awards and Recognitions Diamonds in the Shadow by Caroline B. Cooney has received the following awards and recognitions -
Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Award - 2010 Nominee - Grades 6-8 category
Citations And Professional Reviews Diamonds in the Shadow by Caroline B. Cooney has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
CBA Retailers - 09/01/2007 page 76
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Studio: WaterBrook Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.3" Width: 5.8" Height: 0.9" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Sep 11, 2007
Publisher WaterBrook Press
ISBN 1400074231 ISBN13 9781400074235
Availability 0 units.
More About Caroline B. Cooney
Caroline B. Cooney is the author of Goddess of Yesterday (an ALA Notable Children's Book); The Ransom of Mercy Carter; and The Face on the Milk Carton (an IRA-CBC Children's Choice). She lives in Westbrook, CT.
Caroline B. Cooney currently resides in Westbrook, in the state of Connecticut.
Reviews - What do customers think about Diamonds in the Shadow?
Caroline B. Cooney Weaves a Masterful Mystery Oct 17, 2009
Author Caroline B. Cooney masterfully illustrates the terror of war and how it vastly differs from the simplicity of suburban life in the United States. When Jared's family hosts a refugee family from war-town Africa, he doesn't want to share his room or his life. Mopsy, his little sister, is thrilled to host Alake, hoping she'll be her best friend. Both Jared and Mopsy are surprised at the strange family that comes to live in their home.
Jared realizes the refugees don't act like a normal family, but his parents accept the refugees' pretense. His parents enjoy teaching the refugees the conveniences of American life.
The refugee family brought only two boxes of cremated ancestors with them and no other luggage. Jared and Mopsy discover raw diamonds in the boxes and find themselves trapped in an evil plan to ruin the refugee family's freedom and future.
Unable to escape the pain of their previous lives, the refugee family discovers true freedom with grace, forgiveness, and peace. Jared and his family bond from the surreal experience. This eye-opening mystery-thriller is sure to please both teen and adult readers.
Diamonds in the Shadow May 22, 2009
Diamonds in the Shadow is a mystery of what happens to an African Refugee family when they end up living with a Connecticut family after an apartment falls through. The church was looking for a family to take in the Amabo family until they can find another apartment for them to stay. The Finch family had agreed to take the four of them.
Jared Finch does not want to share his room or his life with a boy he knows very little about. Although, his eleven-year old sister, Mopsy, is eager to have the sister she had always dreamed of. She said, "It'll be like sleepovers every night." When the Amabo family arrives, the Finches find out there are more problems than expected. Andre's hands were cut off, making it hard to find him a job and Alake does not speak a word. Other problems arose because Mattu carried his grandparent's ashes all the way from Africa. Celestine, the mom, and Andre, the dad, also do not pay much attention to their children, which creates a suspicion to Jared. The Finches help Andre and Celestine find jobs as well as help teach them everything they will need to know to make it on their own. They are also teaching Mattu how to drive.
As the book continues, a fifth refugee, a killer, is revealed and the Amabos have something he wants. He is a threat to the Amabos and the Finch family. Alake will be forced into a dangerous situation where everyone's life will change.
The fast paced, action filled mystery by Caroline B. Cooney will keep you wanting to read more. This is one of her best books ever. The plot helped me learn about different cultures and the struggles we overcome everyday as well as what other cultures have had to forget.
The Finch's oldest son Jared realizes "something isn't right" Apr 1, 2009
The Finch family open their home to the Amabo family, refugees from Africa. The refugees suffered horrible atrocities in their homeland. Adjusting to American culture was difficult. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to the Amabo. The Finche's do not know they agreed to carry diamonds into the country for a fifth refugee who is a soldier intent on violence. The Finch's oldest son Jared realizes "something isn't right" and must decide what to do with the information. Who should he tell? Will he help or make matters worse?
Diamonds In The Shadow is a good read. Caroline B. Cooney mixes suspense and intrigue to form a good plot. Diamonds InThe Shadow is thought provoking. It shines light on the plight of the refugees. Cooney makes the reader revaluate their life. Diamonds In The Shadow will make you grateful for all you have.
A Gem of a Tale Mar 19, 2009
An American family of four. An African family of four ... plus one shadow figure with a murderous agenda.
Jared Finch is less than pleased when his parents agree to host the Amabos - an African refugee family - in their home until an affordable apartment can be found for them. It means, among other things, that he will be forced to share his private space with a teenage boy, who shows up carrying the ashes of his dead grandparents in boxes. How weird can things get?
Jared's sister, Mopsy, also shares a room, but the little girl is happy - even excited - to do so. Too bad her roommate turns out to be a skinny teen so traumatized by the horrors of her past that she no longer speaks, and barely knows there is a world around her. Dead, but still breathing.
As the two families learn to co-exist under the same roof, each of them has much to learn. The Amabos come from a lifestyle and culture their hosts don't even want to imagine; the Finch family is dealing with a painful betrayal of their own. In the midst of all the newness and scars, each member of the group learns and grows.
Perhaps more than any of the others, Jared finds something changing within himself. Then he becomes aware of the danger stalking the refugees - and, by association, his own family. Will he find a way to save his new friends without compromising the safety of his own household?
Diamonds in the Shadow is a dynamic blend of suspense, mystery, family relationships - and just plain good reading. Probably best categorized as young adult fiction, it's a tale that will be enjoyed by many adults, as well. It digs in and won't let go. The author paints vivid pictures of a war-torn country and it's scarred and beaten citizens, while underscoring this harsh reality with the healing power of love, compassion, generosity, and humanity. Pages turn, hearts pound, tears fall ... and the last page comes all too soon, leaving the reader wanting to know what happens after.
Excellent storyline, believable characters, great writing!
Diamonds in the shadow Mar 18, 2009
When the apartment that the Amabo family was to stay in falls through - Jared is forced to share his bedroom with Mutto - their teenage son. He is not very happy about this -not happy at all. Mopsy, Jared's younger sister, is overjoyed at the fact that their teenage daughter Alake will be bunking with her.
The Amabo family are refugees from Africa. They have received passage to the states and are being sponsered by Jared's church. They will help to give them training and find jobs - but there is trouble from the start. The biggest being that the fifth refugee on the plane doesn't like not being in control. Then Andre Amabo, the father, has had his hands chopped off during the war in Africa - one at the wrist, the other at the elbow. Alake doesn't speak - and doesn't appear to hear either. She has to be prodded to even eat. And what is up with Mattu and the two cardboard boxes that contain the ashes of his grandparents?
Jarod doesn't believe in the same God that his parents do, and that the Amabo's seem to also. He feels praying is a waste of time. But while the Amabo's are staying with them, his reality begins to change. He finds that doing things for other people really isn't that much trouble. He discovers that his younger sister isn't so annoying, but has great insight and can even be trusted. And he discovers what secrets the ashes of Mattu's grandparents contain. What he does with that information will decide the fate of both families - but will he make the right choice?
This would be a great book for middle schoolers and maybe early high school. It is well written, but seems a little simplistic for older than that. I would not recommend it for younger thatn middle school because of some of the violence that it describes.
People are not who or what you expect in this book - and that helped to make it a quite a page turner. I was able to read it in just two sittings.