________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 15. . . .December 11, 2015


Fire and Glass. (Keepers of the Vault).

Marty Chan.
Richmond Hill, ON: Clockwise Press, 2015.
125 pp., trade pbk. & ebook, $10.95 (pbk.,), $8.95 (ebook).
ISBN 978-0-9939351-5-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-9939351-6-9 (ebook).

Grades 7-10 / Ages 12-15.

Review by Tara Stieglitz.

***1/2 /4


The next day I searched for Dylan in the schoolyard. No sign of him outside. I didn’t peg him as a keener, but he might have gone into the library to get some studying done. I headed into the school. Too early for classes to begin, the main corridor was deserted. At the far end, one of the locker doors appeared to be bulging. As I walked closer, the blue paint on the metal door began to blister and burn, turning black from the edges in.

My stomached lurched from a stench that now wafted in the air. The entire hallway reeked of rotten eggs and old Chinese takeout. The door turned completely black except for the stencilled outline of a word: “Trapped.”


Kristina Mah has been having a tough time. Her dad recently left her and her mom on their own, and they’ve had to move from their house in the suburbs to a small apartment in the inner city to save money. The worst of it is that Kristina, right in the middle of grade nine, has had to leave her old school and all her friends for a rundown inner city school where she knows no one. And to top it all off, she’s pretty sure her new school is haunted. Kristina sees ghostly images in the SmartBoard, the school has a whole fourth floor that no one is allowed to enter, and someone seems to be trying to send her a message, begging for help. When Kristina befriends Dylan, another social misfit, the two of them begin to investigate the strange occurrences at their school. Then Kristina accidentally releases a mischievous Djinn, and she and Dylan have to work together to recapture the Djinn in the vault-like room that appears to be where the fourth floor of their school should be.

     Fire and Glass is fast-paced and suspenseful, with enough creepy parts to give it a mild horror thrill. The book is the first in a series intended for readers who read below grade level. Like many of that genre, the language is easy to understand, and the story is highly engaging. The book is also published in a typeface that is intended to be dyslexia-friendly. Fire and Glass would be a good choice for a struggling reader, but it also makes an enjoyable read for any fan of fantasy.

Highly Recommended.

Tara Stieglitz is a librarian at MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

CM Home | Next Review | Table of Contents for This Issue - December 11, 2015 | Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive

Updated: October 17, 2014 (hsd)