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famaFA
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-30-2009
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Please help me remember!

I read an excerpt of this book in a Scott Foresman reading series book in middle school (15+ years ago) The main characters were a brother and sister who had some sort of special powers that they inherited from their mother (their father was a regular human). The boy discovered he could fly, and I think he might have started a fire by accident once because he was angry at being grounded by his dad. I think he had the powers of telekinesis too. His sister had the ability to feel other people's pain but she suffered because she couldn't stop herself from hurting. Their mom died after a car crash or something - they were older, in their mid to late teens when she died. They realized they needed to find their kin - people like them who had similar powers. They drove for days through a desert I think, and they finally found some of their own who were going to help them have better control over their powers. That's where the excerpt ended. I remember the word Gideon featured heavily in this story, I'm not sure if it was purely an allegory or if it was actually part of the title's name or the name of the place where these people were really from. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
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blkeyesuzi
Posts: 730
Registered: ‎01-26-2008
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Re: Please help me remember!


famaFA wrote:
I read an excerpt of this book in a Scott Foresman reading series book in middle school (15+ years ago) The main characters were a brother and sister who had some sort of special powers that they inherited from their mother (their father was a regular human). The boy discovered he could fly, and I think he might have started a fire by accident once because he was angry at being grounded by his dad. I think he had the powers of telekinesis too. His sister had the ability to feel other people's pain but she suffered because she couldn't stop herself from hurting. Their mom died after a car crash or something - they were older, in their mid to late teens when she died. They realized they needed to find their kin - people like them who had similar powers. They drove for days through a desert I think, and they finally found some of their own who were going to help them have better control over their powers. That's where the excerpt ended. I remember the word Gideon featured heavily in this story, I'm not sure if it was purely an allegory or if it was actually part of the title's name or the name of the place where these people were really from. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.

Scott Foresman released the Escape to Witch Mountain and Return to Witch Mountain novels, I believe, in 1938.  They were adapted for a teen audience.  Could this be what you are looking for?

Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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Deeberg
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-22-2009
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Re: Please help me remember!

Oh wow- this is part of a wonderful series of books by Zenna Henderson.

 

Almost all of her books are about some very humanlike aliens with psychic powers who are here on earth called "The People" They crash landed here when their own planet was about to be destroyed (go nova or get hit by a comet or something) during the time of our westward expansion and ended up either living in tiny towns trying to hide what seem to be super powers or being killed as witches, or put in asylums. But the young children who are orphaned, and those that do survive grow up and intermarry and the next generation has some of the powers- but not a full understanding of their own history. Or it has been frightened out of them. They are all people you wish you could know personally. And come from a society and culture that I used to daydream could be our own.

 

The girl in your story is named Bethie, and she is a Sorter- she is supposed to be able to put up a barrier internally so she can figure out where and how someone is hurt to help the doctors, but should be able to not feel the pain. But she is missing the innate ability to separate from the pain. Her brother, Peter I believe, can Lift (not fly) and discovers he has to weave patterns of sunlight in order to get back down again. 

 

It does have a happy ending eventually.

 

One of the stories was made into a television movie (called The People) in the 1970's starring William Shatner and Kim Darby

 

All of her books are wonderful.

 

I envy your enjoyment in discovering and rediscovering them now...

 

http://www.adherents.com/lit/bk_Zenna.html