The Path of Names

The Path of Names

Book - 2013
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Thirteen-year-old Dahlia's reluctance about attending Camp Arava changes to wonder as strange things begin to happen, and soon she is connecting with David Schank, a student of the kabbala, and the maze he built at the camp in the 1930s.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780545474313
0545474310
9780545474306
0545474302
Characteristics: 339 p. : map ; 22 cm

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JCLChrisK Dec 17, 2013

A thirteen-year-old girl, summer camp, ghosts, a mysterious caretaker, her older brother, magic tricks, math, mazes, and Jewish mysticism.

An interesting mix of elements that worked well enough together to make an interesting, engaging story, but not quite well enough to feel like they gelled into something I could get truly swept away by--I could feel the author trying just a little too hard. By the end of the book I wanted to know more about the workings of Kabbalah as the source of this book's magic, and I wished it hadn't been so obviously glossed over as too dense to be part of an appealing story. But, while I had a very good first impression of Dahlia and felt her interactions with the other characters were believable throughout the story, neither she nor any of the others ever grew on me. Ultimately, it felt like her interest in magic tricks and math were constructs to make the Kabbalah magic seem appealing to her, not because she was a real person with real passions. Nevertheless, I liked her and was just as curious as she was to figure out what was going on.

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