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  Grade 6 Reviews
  The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick

Review by: Karoline B.
Ohio, Grade 6

Pretend you are five years old. Youíre playing with your best friend, Clare, while the adults are talking. Then you see something, something only you can see, and say, ďI donít want Clare to die tomorrow.Ē Those are the exact words of five-year-old Alexandra Fox, and she can see the future. The Foreshadowing, published by Laurel-Leaf and written by Marcus Sedgwick, tells her story.
This book has many unique qualities. The biggest one? The entire book is written backwards. It starts at chapter 101 and works it way down to one. Alexandra explains a few times in the book that seeing the future is like reading a book backwards, so you already know the answer. Because of this, Alexandra thinks seeing the future is more a curse than a gift. Also, the author leaves two of the chapters blank. The next chapter has only two sentences. ďI am blind. I am as blind as a book with no writing on the page.Ē A third quality that I noticed was the book was historical fiction, yet it was more of a science fiction or fantasy book. The Foreshadowing is like three genres in one book! Marcus Sedgwick wrote the book kind of like a diary in some places. In my opinion, writing it sort of like a diary was a good way to get the message and mood of the story across to the reader. You almost want to jump in the book and comfort Alexandra or tell her not to give up. The last quality is hard to spot. At the beginning of each chapter, there is a birdís feather. To find out what type of feather and why itís there, you will have to read the book. It was little details like these that made this book all the more interesting.
Alexandra is a pretty typical 17-year-old girl from the year of 1915, apart from the fact that she can see the future. She would like to become a nurse, and her brother, Tom, would like to follow in his fatherís footsteps and become a doctor. But Edgar, her other brother, wants to do his part and fight in the war that is now known to us as World War One. Her entire family has a different view on the war. Around Christmas time, tragedy strikes. Suddenly, everything takes a turn for the worst. There is a wall up between Alexandra and her family because none of them can- or want to- believe her visions of the future. All they want is a normal daughter who follow the rules and marries a sensible-maybe even rich- man. Alexandra wants the wall to come crashing down. When she gets a vision of a loved one being shot in battle, will she get her chance to make amends with her family? Or will she get caught and killed in the process? Youíll just have to read the book to find out.

I would give The Foreshadowing a nine out of ten rating. I wouldnít give the book ten stars because sometimes it was a little hard to follow at some points in the story. Also, the ending could have been explained better. Although I loved how the author described the ending, it didnít really have enough detail and left me wondering (and not in a good way). Historical fiction is not usually a genre I would chose, but since the book was more of a fantasy science fiction genre, it changed my outlook on historical fiction. I would recommend this book for avid fifth graders and up because younger grades may not understand it or be able to stick with it until the very end. Plus, some of the words and the way the author uses his words can be a little confusing.
The Foreshadowing is 291 pages of three in one historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction book. I couldnít put it down once I started reading it. The characters are very believable, my favorites being Alexandra because I can really relate to her, and Tom because he was so kind and tried to carry on Edgarís work. This is an excellent book. I would only change one thing; the ending. The ending could have been explained better, but I donít want to spoil it for you, so I wonít tell you what it could have explained. The Foreshadowing is now one of my favorite books, and I would recommend it for anyone fifth grade and up who is ready to stick with it until the end.

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