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Streams of Babel    by Carol Plum-Ucci order for
Streams of Babel
by Carol Plum-Ucci
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Streams of Babel flows in a number of mind boggling directions with characters so well drawn you'd be able to pick them out of a line up.

Cora Holman, reclusive, lonely and beautiful, whose secret life includes living with a morphine addicted mother.

Scott Eberman, disappointed at not being able to go to medical school, a young paramedic still in training.

Owen Eberman, a young jock whose lifestyle and many friends leave him too little time to be alone with his thoughts.

Rain Steckerman, easy going and fun, whose dad is the South Jersey supervisor for the U.S. Intelligence Coalition.

All live in the same wealthy Trinity Falls neighborhood and have one other thing in common. They've drunk water doctored by terrorists and meant to kill without detection. The lives of these teenagers become intertwined while on the other side of the world, a sixteen-year-old hacker spies on a chat room where terrorist plans are discussed and erased almost as soon as they're typed.

Plum-Ucci's books don't usually have sequels, but readers will hope she makes an exception with this unusual novel. Writing a sequel following the lives of the four teenagers whose world shatters with the twist of the kitchen spigot would be a natural. Also, the two young hackers introduced here would provide a launch for a long line of stories. Carol Plum-Ucci is a Printz Honor Award author and has twice been a finalist for the Edgar Alan Poe Award. Streams of Babel deserves to win.

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