Austin Family

In this award-winning young adult series from Madeleine L’Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time, Vicky Austin experiences the difficulties and joys of growing up. She encounters love for the first time, but also experiences grief. The penultimate book in the series, A Ring of Endless Light, received the Newbery Honor.

BOOKS IN THIS
SERIES

Meet the Austins
Meet the Austins
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For a family with four kids, two dogs, assorted cats, and a constant stream of family and friends dropping by, life in the Austin family home has always been remarkably steady and contented. When a family friend suddenly dies in a plane crash, the Austins open their home to an orphaned girl, Maggy Hamilton. The Austin children—Vicky, John, Suzy, and Rob—do their best to be generous and welcoming to Maggy.
     Vicky knows she should feel sorry for Maggy, but having sympathy for Maggy is no easy thing. Maggy is moody and spoiled; she breaks toys, wakes people in the middle of the night screaming, discourages homework, and generally causes chaos in the Austin household. How can one small child disrupt a family of six? Will life ever return to normal?

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Austin Family (Volume 1)

Madeleine L'Engle

FSG Books for Young Readers

For a family with four kids, two dogs, assorted cats, and a constant stream of family and friends dropping by, life in the Austin family home has always been remarkably steady and contented....

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The Moon by Night
The Moon by Night
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"The Austin family spends the summer on a cross-country camping trip...Vicky, now 'almost 15,' tells the story, and the reader feels a strong personal identification with the thoughts and emotions of this age group through her story." --School Library Journal
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As if simply being fourteen-years-old weren’t bad enough—what with the usual teenage angst and uncertainty, Vicky Austin’s always comforting and reliable home life is changing completely. Her brother John is going off to college in the fall. Maggy, an orphan taken in by the Austins two years ago, has gone to live with her legal guardian. And the rest of Vicky’s family is moving from their quiet house in the country to the heart of New York City.
     But before the big move, the entire Austin family is taking a meandering trip across the country in their station wagon, stopping to camp along the way, with no set schedule and not a single night of camping experience among them.
     Wild animal attacks. Life-threatening natural disasters. Cute boys on the prowl. Anything can happen in the great outdoors.


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Austin Family (Volume 2)

Madeleine L'Engle

FSG Books for Young Readers

"The Austin family spends the summer on a cross-country camping trip...Vicky, now 'almost 15,' tells the story, and the reader feels a strong personal identification with the thoughts and emotions of this age group through her story." --School Library Journal

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A Ring of Endless Light
A Ring of Endless Light
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"This wasn't the first time that I'd come close to death, but it was the first time I'd been involved in this part of it, this strange, terrible saying goodbye to someone you've loved."

These are Vicky Austin's thoughts as she stands near Commander Rodney's grave while her grandfather, who himself is dying of cancer, recites the funeral service. Watching his condition deteriorate over that long summer is almost more than she can bear. Then, in the midst of her struggle, she finds herself the center of attention for three young men. Leo, Commander Rodney's son, turns to her as an old friend seeking comfort but longing for romance. Zachary, whose attempted suicide inadvertently caused Commander Rodney's death, sees her as the one sane and normal person who can give some meaning to his life. And Adam, a serious young student working at the nearby marine-biology station, discovers Vicky, his friend's little sister, incipient telepathic powers that can help him with his experiments in dolphin communications. Vicky finds solace and brief moments of peace in her poetry, but life goes on around her, and the strain intensifies as she confronts matters of love and of death, of dependence and of responsibility, universal concerns that we all must face. The inevitable crisis comes and Vicky must rely on openness, sensitivity, and the love of others to overcome her private grief. Once again, Madeleine L'Engle has written a story that revels in the drama of vividly portrayed characters and events of the spiritual and moral dimensions of common human experiences.
 
A Ring of Endless Light is a 1981 Newbery Honor Book.

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Austin Family (Volume 4)

Madeleine L'Engle

FSG Books for Young Readers

"This wasn't the first time that I'd come close to death, but it was the first time I'd been involved in this part of it, this strange, terrible saying goodbye to someone you've loved."These...

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Troubling a Star
Troubling a Star
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Vicky Austin returns in this "sensitive, well-written story of a young girl who unwittingly becomes involved in high-risk political and ecological intrigue, set against the starkly beautiful background of Antarctica. . .Perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of everything. . .L'Engle is a master." -Pointer, Kirkus Reviews
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After a year in New York City and a summer with her grandfather, Vicky Austin returns to the rural connecticut village she grew up in-- and feels totally out of place. Then she meets Adam Eddington's Great Aunt Serena, who reminds her of her beloved grandfather, and she begins to find a comfortable, if not exciting, routine to her days. At Christmas, Serena gives Vicky a trip to Antarctica, to visit Adam. Vicky can't believe her luck.

But the trip is not what Vicky imagined it would be. First of all, she doesnt know where she stands with Adam. He's pulled back, saying they are just friends. But weren't they more than that, Vicky thinks. And Vicky's fellow passengers are not what they seem or they are more than she knows. Finally, even Aunt Serena's motives are suspect, as Vicky discovers a journal that belonged to Adam's famous uncle who disappeared many years earlier.

As Vicky becomes more and more caught up in a mystery involving drugs, nuclear waste, and international espionage, she discovers that her assumptions about the world are hopelessly naive and that life, hers included, is as fragile as the ecosystem of Antarctica, the world's most remote continent.

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Austin Family (Volume 5)

Madeleine L'Engle

FSG Books for Young Readers

Vicky Austin returns in this "sensitive, well-written story of a young girl who unwittingly becomes involved in high-risk political and ecological intrigue, set against the starkly beautiful background of Antarctica. . .Perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of everything. . .L'Engle is a master." -Pointer, Kirkus Reviews

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The Young Unicorns
The Young Unicorns
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"A first-rate suspense story, complete with missing formulae, Oriental scientists, unnecessary brain operations, cryptic telegrams and an unforgettable scene in which a bishop sits enthroned in jeweled splendor in a dank, abandoned subway station issuing orders to a street gang." --The Washington Post Book World
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The Austins are trying to settle into their new life in New York City, but their once close-knit family is pulling away from each other. Their father spends long hours alone in his study working on the research project that brought the family to the city. John is away at college. Rob is making friends with people in the neighborhood: newspaper vendors, dog walkers, even the local rabbi. Suzy is blossoming into a vivacious young woman. And Vicky has become closer to Emily Gregory, a blind and brilliant young musician, than to her sister Suzy.
     With the Austins going in different directions, they don’t notice that something sinister is going on in their neighborhood—and it’s centered around them. A mysterious genie appears before Rob and Emily. A stranger approaches Vicky in the park and calls her by name. Members of a local gang are following their father. The entire Austin family is in danger. If they don’t start telling each other what’s going on, someone just might get killed.


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Austin Family (Volume 3)

Madeleine L'Engle

FSG Books for Young Readers

"A first-rate suspense story, complete with missing formulae, Oriental scientists, unnecessary brain operations, cryptic telegrams and an unforgettable scene in which a bishop sits enthroned in jeweled splendor in a dank, abandoned subway station issuing orders to a street gang." --The Washington Post Book World

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