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Wednesday, September 5

Sacred Ground By Laura Bickle




We sometimes think of sacred ground as a very grand or unusual place, marked by ornate gates and much symbolism. But sacred ground can be quite unassuming and ordinary.

Katie, the heroine of THE HALLOWED ONES, has always lived on sacred ground. She’s grown up in a peaceful Amish settlement, living with her parents and sister in the house where she was born. She knows every other person in the settlement. Crime is unheard-of. Though she has many responsibilities, Katie has always been free to wander about the rural settlement, to feel the cool grass under her fingers and the warm sun on her face. She feels safe here, though she yearns to test her boundaries and taste the world outside her fence.

The Amish church is the key to the sacredness of her community. Church services in her world take place at each house on a rotating basis – there is no physical church building. Pews are unloaded into each backyard every other Sunday, and worship is wound into everyday lives and places.

But Katie’s safe world begins to disintegrate when a helicopter crashes into the field near her home. The pilot is killed, and Katie sees red eyes in the burning wreckage. Something not human. For the first time, she feels that her community is no longer the sanctuary it was.

Something is devastating the outside world. Something violent, something that has inspired even the ravens in her fields to flee in terror. Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: no one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elders’ rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him? And will what he brings in contaminate her world, destroy its sacredness…and bring evil and temptation inside?

Katie must decide when safety must be sacrificed in order to serve the higher virtue of compassion. She will learn how to create her own shelter and what is sacred to her, as an adult woman. The safe place she knew in her childhood is gone, and she must struggle to protect those she loves from the gathering darkness.

 
THE HALLOWED ONES
Laura Bickle
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Graphia

Pub Date: September 25, 2012
ISBN-10: 0547859260
ISBN-13: 978-0547859262


Blurb:

If your home was the last safe place on earth, would you let a stranger in?

In this captivating thriller, an Amish settlement is the last safe haven in a world plagued by an unspeakable horror…

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there...and it is making a killing.

Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elder’s rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?

About the Author:

Laura Bickle's professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she's not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she can be found reaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. She has written several contemporary fantasy nov-els for adults, and THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. For more about Laura, please visit her website at: www.laurabickle.com.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting me today! It's much appreciated. :-)

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