Welcome to the Ark
by Stephanie S. Tolan
to the Ark focuses on four children ranging in age from eight to seventeen, whose
extraordinary gifts isolate them from other children and from normal
expectations of what constitutes rational, reasonable behavior.
a poetry prodigy labeled schizophrenic, is a healer able to communicate with
other life forms; Elijah, an apparently autistic child, "hears" the
deep growl of violence when it occurs in the world around him; Miranda,
world-renowned "baby genius" and linguistic prodigy, has become
alienated not only from other humans, but from her own emotions and natural
empathy; and Doug, flutist and math whiz, has turned the violence he sees in his
family and cultural environment first against its treasured material goods and
then against himself.
a near-future world in which violence is pandemic, these four intensely
sensitive children are brought together in an experimental group home in a
private mental hospital. In the program they dub "the Ark," they
discover their deep mental bond with one another, a bond that eventually
connects them with other unusual children around the world. As they begin to
explore the power of their connection, they discover it offers great hope for
the future of the world, and great danger as well.
"Tolan blends elements of science fiction with nonstop suspense in a provocative, disturbingly real story.... Drawing on her own experiences with exceptionally bright children, she has created a finely portrayed group of characters who will seem achingly familiar to any child who has ever felt isolated or disconnected. She also raises tantalizing questions guaranteed to spur discussion in classroom literature circles." - Booklist
can help us think about our lives and our world in new ways - SST
These topics are designed to encourage thinking and the sharing of
beliefs and ideas. They are not about the "right" answer, or about
THINKING FURTHER, GOING DEEPER
topics and related ones can serve to spur deeper and broader-ranging discussions
that can lead to research to support or refute studentsí opinions, beliefs,
and conclusions. Formal debates or research papers may result from these
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
Welcome to the Ark is a work of fiction and Miranda, Doug, Elijah, and Taryn are invented characters. However, they are based on real people. In working with a group of extremely bright children, I was able to observe the sort of "thinking together" that the children of the Ark begin to do. I know someone who is able to "read" a book merely by holding it in her hands. I can't explain these abilities, but like Noah and Abigail, I know because of my own experience that they exist.
Modem physics has shown us that mind and matter are not as separate as we once thought. Can anyone (or any group of people) really "reflect" violence back on those who would use it, or "tame" the violent impulse in another human being? I don't know. That is an aspect of this book which came from my imagination. But here's something else to think about-we don't know exactly what imagination is or how it works.
Copyright 1997 by Stephanie S. Tolan
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