Latest News

Many readers are emailing to say how much they have enjoyed The Line and Away and to ask if there will be a third book.

The answer?


THE ISLAND is out now! Available in paperback and digital formats. I hope you enjoy it and I thank all of you for the wonderful emails!

Kirkus reviews Away!

This worthy sequel to Hall’s The Line (2010) continues to build a dystopian world rich with suspense and moral choices . . . her dystopian world comes across vividly, and her characters stand out as varied and real.”

See the full review here!

VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) reviews Away!

Hall’s imaginative dystopian world takes the concepts of good vs. evil and modern vs. primitive into fresh territory with plenty of comparisons to today’s world. For readers reluctant to dip into science fiction, this adventure is an engaging place to start. While it is not necessary to start with The Line, it would help fill out the details, and at the conclusion of Away, readers will find themselves eagerly hoping for a third installment.”

The Line has been named to the 2011 IRA/CBC Children’s Choices List! The fully annotated list of Children’s Choices appears in the October issue of the IRA publication The Reading Teacher. For more information, please visit

See the free, comprehensive teacher’s/book group guide for The Line here!
Imagine the possibilities for your classroom or book group!


Booklist Review
In this futuristic debut, Rachel lives with her widowed mother, who is a housekeeper on the Property, an estate that borders the Line, a protective barrier that runs along the U.S. border. After a hostile force, the Korusal, blasted the area with atomic bombs, the Line has been rigidly maintained to keep out the Others: people who were trapped in the bombs’ fallout. Rachel is intensely curious about what life is like in the Away, beyond the Line, and when she finds a message from an Other pleading for help, she jumps into action. Her efforts trigger a series of events that not only compromise everyone on the Property but also reveal dangerous secrets. Hall nicely embeds the history of this repressive future world in a tense narrative that will leave readers intrigued with the mysterious Away. Rachel is an appealing character, and her young voice and the straightforward language make this a good choice for introducing young readers to the science-fiction genre. The abrupt cliff-hanger ending will create demand for the next book in the series.
Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
This interesting dystopic series opener from debut author Hall follows the fortunes of Rachel, whose mother, Vivian, is “Gainfully Employed” by Ms. Moore, owner of an orchid business, a “Private Enterprise.” They live close to “the Line,” the border of the Unified States, and everyone fears what lurks in Away, across the Line. Vivian homeschools Rachel to insulate her from the lies of the repressive U.S. government schools, and Rachel does her best to help her cherished Mom, but she really loves working in the greenhouse, even if the severe Ms. Moore frightens her. However, when a boy appears across the Line asking for help, Rachel and the entire complex become embroiled in activities that might get them all arrested. The author trims her prose for an upper-elementary audience, but the story easily can appeal to teens. Without any hint at current politics, she encourages young readers to think about the tension between freedom and security while keeping them engrossed in a suspenseful story. Well done indeed. (Science fiction. 10 & up)
Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

Voice of Youth Advocates Reviews
In this futuristic novel, Rachel lives on The Property with her mother and Ms. Moore, far from the unrest in the city but close to the Line, part of the National Border Defense System that entirely encloses the Unified States. Rachel has always been forbidden to go near the Line, but she is intrigued by stories about Away and the Others who were abandoned when the invisible barrier was activated. When Rachel finds a recording that is a cry for help from across the Line, she sets in motion events that will reveal her parents’ past life as collaborators—rebels against the oppressive government. Rachel comes of age as she struggles to do the right thing in spite of her fear The story is timely in that it shares what can happen as rights erode when government takes over people’s lives bit by bit. The Enforcement Officers can haul anyone away without a reason. The Identification System, random taxes, limited work choices, and government-controlled media keep everyone in line. Rachel’s search for meaning in her life and her fascination with the forbidden will resonate with teens. Hall’s compelling writing transports the reader to a time and place that seems all too close to now. This intriguing story will appeal to those who enjoyed The Hunger Games (Scholastic Press, 2008/VOYA October 2008), and readers will anxiously await the next installment in Rachel’s story.
Deborah L. Dubois 4Q 4P S Copyright 2010 Voya Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews
In this atmospheric dystopian story, Rachel and her mother live with her mother’s chilly and withdrawn employer, Ms. Moore, at the edge of an invisible barrier—the Line, part of the oppressive government’s National Border Defense System—which encloses the Unified States. Rachel is homeschooled by her mother (a device Hall uses to give readers history lessons), and spends time tending orchids in Ms. Moore’s greenhouse. But she is deeply curious about Away, the land beyond the Line, and about the Others, who were displaced after the Line was erected. When Rachel discovers a recording device and a voice on the tape asks for help, she decides to approach the Line, leading to an encounter that will disclose her family history. Debut author Hall’s clear, controlled prose builds burgeoning tension (“Perhaps someone with less imagination, or more friends, could have resisted the pull of something so forbidden… but Rachel was not that person”) while unraveling carefully conceived plot twists, which address themes of totalitarianism, nuclear war, and xenophobia. Dimensional characters and compelling questions unveiled at the dangling finish will have readers awaiting the next installment. Ages 12–up.
(Mar.) [Page 51]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information

Library Media Connection
Rachel and her mother live on The Property, a home owned by the distant and aloof Ms. Moore, far from the city where political struggles and a domineering government are most active. Rachel loves working with the orchids in the greenhouse on The Property, but the greenhouse is close to the Line, an invisible section of the National Border Defense System where no one is allowed to cross. On the other side of the Line is Away, a place that to Rachel seems the same as anywhere else, except she is forbidden to go near it. Then one day she hears a recording, a message that could only come from Away, and one that will lead Rachel into the world of the unknown. Yet another dystopian novel, The Line sets readers up for a series about another world that might have come from situations too close to our own. Recommended.
Lu Ann Brobst Staheli, English Teacher, Payson (Utah) Jr. High School ¬ 2010 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

Courtney Summers reviews The Line (and interviews me, too).

The Compulsive Reader reviews The Line.  And likes it!

The Line was released on March 4, 2010.   It is available for purchase now at Amazon, or you can find your closest independent bookstore and request The Line there.