Seventeen-year-old Ellis isn't quite sure how he got into this mess, but it's so interesting that he just can't bring himself to get out of it. "Now was the time to say a polite good-bye and make for home. But wouldn't that good-bye be rather like walking out before the end of the film?" On holiday from school, Ellis is accosted by barefoot Jackie, a distant childhood acquaintance, who commandeers his car and introduces him to Ursa, Leona, and Fox--siblings who are as otherworldly as "three sisters in a castle." Their strange abode, the ramshackle Land of Smiles motel, is a magnet for the wild and weird. Once there, it is as if conventional Ellis has fallen down the rabbit hole. His four new friends draw him into their upside-down world, and before he knows it, Ellis has liberated a stolen computer, rescued a baby, talked a jumper off a roof, had his heart broken, and learned the true nature of life and death--all in the course of one day.
In 24 Hours, veteran young-adult author Margaret Mahy candidly explores an underworld of juvenile drinking and fast driving that oftentimes adults are loath to admit exists. But many of today's teens will recognize that landscape as real, and appreciate Mahy's honesty in addressing it. An exciting rush through real life at breakneck speed, this rowdy adventure will have teen readers wholeheartedly chiming in with Ellis when he remarks, "I'm too much a part of the story now…. I've got to know how it ends."
Esther Glen Medal, 2001;
Notable Book 2001;
Honour Award New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 2001
Margaret Mahy was born in New Zealand and has loved telling stories all her life. She is acknowledged all over the world as one of the outstanding children's writers of today, and has published over 200 titles. Twice winner of the Carnegie Medal (The Haunting, 1982, and The Changeover, 1984), several of her titles have become modern classics. Other major awards include The Order of New Zealand, for her contribution to children's literature, and the Hans Christian Andersen medal, which is the highest international recognition granted to authors and illustrators of children's books. Margaret lives in the South Island of New Zealand, in a house which she partially built herself, overlooking Governor's Bay.