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Advances in The Human Side of Service Engineering

by Wojciech Cellary Louis E. Freund

If there is any one element to the engineering of service systems that is unique, it is the extent to which the suitability of the system for human use, human service, and excellent human experience has been and must always be considered. An exploration of this emerging area of research and practice, Advances in the Human Side of Service Engineeringcovers a broad spectrum of ergonomics and human factors issues highlighting the design of contemporary manufacturing systems. Topics include: Adoption of health information technology (HIT) Aging society: the impact of age on traditional service system constructs Anthropology in service science Applying service design techniques to healthcare Co-creating value Cognitive systems modeling of service systems Context-related service: the human aspect of service systems Designing services for underserved populations Ethics dividend in services: how it may be cultivated, grown, and measured Governance of service systems Human aspects of change when applying Lean Six Sigma methods and tools Human side of service dominant logic in B2B settings Human-computer interaction and HF in software technologies Service network configuration impacts on customer experience Simulating employees and customers in service systems Systems design and the customer experience Usability and human side of electronic financial services The book also discusses issues that arise in shop floor and office environments in the quest for manufacturing agility, i. e. enhancement and integration of human skills with hardware performance for improved market competitiveness, management of change, product and process quality, and human-system reliability. It provides a foundation upon which researchers and practitioners can contribute to this quickly evolving area and make lasting contributions.

Implementation and Application of Automata

by Cyril Nicaud Arnaud Carayol

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Implementation and Application of Automata, CIAA 2017,held in Marne-la-Vall#65533;e, France, in June 2017. The 17 revised full papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected from 31 submissions. The topics of the presented papers include state complexity of automata; implementations of automata and experiments; enhanced regular expressions; and complexity analysis.

Advances in Computational Intelligence

by Andreu Catala Gonzalo Joya Ignacio Rojas

This two-volume set LNCS 10305 and LNCS 10306 constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 14th International Work-Conference on Artificial Neural Networks, IWANN 2017, held in Cadiz, Spain, in June 2017. The 126 revised full papers presented in this double volume were carefully reviewed and selected from 199 submissions. The papers are organized in topical sections on Bio-inspired Computing; E-Health and Computational Biology; Human Computer Interaction; Image and Signal Processing; Mathematics for Neural Networks; Self-organizing Networks; Spiking Neurons; Artificial Neural Networks in Industry ANNI'17; Computational Intelligence Tools and Techniques for Biomedical Applications; Assistive Rehabilitation Technology; Computational Intelligence Methods for Time Series; Machine Learning Applied to Vision and Robotics; Human Activity Recognition for Health and Well-Being Applications; Software Testing and Intelligent Systems; Real World Applications of BCI Systems; Machine Learning in Imbalanced Domains; Surveillance and Rescue Systems and Algorithms for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles; End-User Development for Social Robotics; Artificial Intelligence and Games; and Supervised, Non-Supervised, Reinforcement and Statistical Algorithms.

Search for New Physics in Mono-jet Final States in pp Collisions

by Giuliano Gustavino

This thesis provides a detailed and comprehensive description of the search for New Physics at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in the mono-jet final state, using the first 3. 2 fb$^{{-1}}$ of data collected at the centre of mass energy of colliding protons of 13 TeV recorded in the ATLAS experiment at LHC. The results are interpreted as limits in different theoretical contexts such as compressed supersymmetric models, theories that foresee extra-spatial dimensions and in the dark matter scenario. In the latter the limits are then compared with those obtained by other ATLAS analyses and by experiments based on completely different experimental techniques, highlighting the role of the mono-jet results in the context of dark matter searches. Lastly, a set of possible analysis improvements are proposed to reduce the main uncertainties that affect the signal region and to increase the discovery potential by further exploiting the information on the final state.

Operational Symmetries

by Heinrich Saller

This book describes the endeavour to relate the particle spectrum with representations of operational electroweak spacetime, in analogy to the atomic spectrum as characterizing representations of hyperbolic space. The spectrum of hyperbolic position space explains the properties of the nonrelativistic atoms; the spectrum of electroweak spacetime is hoped to explain those of the basic interactions and elementary particles. In this book, the theory of operational symmetries is developed from the numbers, from Plato's and Kepler's symmetries over the simple Lie groups to their applications in nonrelativistic, special relativistic and general relativistic quantum theories with the atomic spectrum for hyperbolic position and, in first attempts, the particle spectrum for electroweak spacetime. The standard model of elementary particles and interactions is characterized by a symmetry group. In general, as initiated by Weyl and stressed by Heisenberg, quantum theory can be built as a theory of operation groups and their unitary representations. In such a framework, time, position and spacetime is modeled by equivalence classes of symmetry groups. For a unification on this road, the quest is not for a final theory with a basic equation for basic particles, but for the basic operation group and its representations.

Problem Behavior Theory and the Social Context

by Richard Jessor

This third and final volume of Richard Jessor's collected works explores the central role of the social context in the formulation and application of Problem Behavior Theory. It discusses the effect of the social environment, especially the social context of disadvantage and limited opportunity, on adolescent behavior, health, and development. The book examines the application of the theory in social contexts as diverse as the inner cities of the United States; the slums of Nairobi, Kenya; and the urban settings of Beijing, China. It also provides insight into how adolescents and young adults manage to "succeed", despite disadvantage, limited opportunity, and even dangers in their everyday life settings. It illuminates how these youth manage to stay on track in school, avoid unintended pregnancy and dropout, keep clear of the criminal justice system, and remain uninvolved in heavy drug use. In addition, the book discusses the conceptual and methodological issues entailed in engaging the social context, including the role of subjectivity and meaning in an objective behavioral science; the contribution of the perceived environment in determining behavi∨ the continuity that characterizes adolescent growth and development; the necessity for a social-psychological level of analysis that avoids reductionism; the importance of a framework that engages the larger social environment; and the advantage of adhering to systematic theory for the explanatory generality it yields. Topics featured in this volume include: Home-leaving and its occurrence among youth in impoverished circumstances. The continuity of adolescent developmental change. The impact of neighborhood disadvantage on successful adolescent development. Successful adolescence in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Explaining both behavior and development in the language of social psychology. Problem Behavior Theory and the Social Context is a must-have resource for researchers, professors, clinicians, and related professionals as well as graduate students in sociology, social and developmental psychology, criminology/criminal justice, public health, and allied disciplines.

Global Responses to Domestic Violence

by Carl G. Buzawa Eve S. Buzawa

This volume addresses the varied response to domestic violence in a comparative, international context. The chapters are laid out in a consistent format, to cover: the nature of the domestic violence problem, theoretical explanations, the criminal justice response, as well as health care and social service interventions in each country. The intent of the book is to provide an introduction to the attitudes and responses to domestic violence in various regions, to provide meaningful comparisons and share information on best practices for different populations and regions. There are considerable variations to domestic violence approaches across cultures and regions. In some places, it is considered a "private" or "family" matter, which can help it perpetuate. At the same time, the United States' approach to domestic violence has been criticized by some as being too focused on the criminal justice system, rather than other types of interventions which aim to keep families intact. This comprehensive work aims to highlight innovative approaches from several regions, important cultural sensitivities and concerns, and provide analysis to identify the strengths and weakness of various approaches. This work will be of interest to researchers in criminology and criminal justice, as well as related fields who deal with domestic violence and violence against women, including sociology and social work, and international justice. Practitioners and policymakers will also find it informative.

The Theory of Laser Materials Processing

by Wolfgang Schulz John Dowden

Theuseoflasersinmaterialsprocessinghasbecomewidespreadinrecent years, sothatanunderstandingofthenatureofheatandmasstransferin thisbranchofmoderntechnologyisofincreasingimportance. Theaimofthe authorsofthisbookistoconcentrateonthephysicalprocesses;thesecanbe developedfromamathematicalpointofview, orfromdirectexperimental- derivedobservation. Thetwoapproachesarecomplementary;eachcanprovide insightsandthesynthesisofthetwocanleadtoaverypowerfulunderstanding oftheprocessesinvolved. Mathematicalmodellingofphysicalprocesseshas hadanimportantroletoplayinthedevelopmentoftechnologyoverthe centuriesandparticularlysointhelastonehundredand?ftyyearsorso. Itcanbearguedthatitismoreimportanttodaythaneverbeforesincethe availabilityofhigh-speedcomputersallowsaccuratenumericalsimulationof industrialprocessesatafractionofthecostofthecorrespondingexperiments. Thisisoneaspectofmathematicalmodelling, highpro?leandmuchvalued, butitisnottheonlyone. Inthepastmathematicalmodellinghadtorelyonqualitativeinves- gation, veryspecialanalyticalsolutions, orinaccurateandtime-consuming calculationsperformedwithlittleinthewayoftabulatedormechanical assistance. Logtablesandsliderulesarestillrememberedbypeopleworking today, thoughtherearesurelyfewwhoregrettheirdisappearance. Thevalueanddistinctivefunctionofmethodsbasedontheanalytical approachisnowbecomingmuchclearer, nowthattheyarenolongerexpected toproducedetailedimitationsofwhathappensinrealexperimentsofind- trialprocesses, afunctionnowful?lledmostlybynumericalmethods, c- sideredbelow. Theemphasistodayisontheirabilitytocon?rmandextend ourunderstandingofthebasicphysicalmechanismsinvolvedintheprocesses of interest. These are essential for any intelligent use of numerical simulation. Theargumentaboutthevalueofteachingpeoplehowtodoarithmetic themselveswithouttheaidofacalculatorseemstobepassingintohistory, vi Preface butitisanimportantoneandprovidesasimpleanalogy. Ifsomeonedoes nothaveafeelingfornumbersandthewayarithmeticworks, theywillalltoo easilyfailtospotanerrorproducedbyamachine. Computersarenotinfallible andneitherarethosewhobuildorprogramthem. Computersarenow takingonlessmundanemathematicaltasksandthesamecontroversiesare appearinginconnectionwithalgebraicmanipulation. Equally, andwitheven greaterpenaltiesintermsofcostintheeventoferrors, thesameconsiderations applytonumericalsimulationofmajorindustrialprocesses. Awarenessofthe analyticalsolutionscanbeinvaluableindistinguishingtherightfromthe wrong, i. e. forthepractitionertounderstandthebasisofthework, andto haveanideaofthekindsofoutcomesthatareplausible andtorecognise thosewhicharenot. Thephrase mathematicalmodelling is, however, ambiguous, perhaps morenowthanithaseverbeen. Thereisanenormousamountofworkdone todayonsimulationbasedontheuseofverypowerfulcomputerprograms, anditisquitecorrectlyreferredtoasmathematicalmodelling. Theprograms aresometimesconstructedin-housebutareusuallycommercialpackages. This isanentirelyvalidapproachwithspeci?c(generallycommercial)objectives. Ingeneraltherearetwouses. Thedominantobjectiveisnumericalagreement withaparticularexperimentinthe?rstinstance, leadingtopredictivec- mercialuseinthesecondinstance. Thesecondobjectiveistheclari?cation ofphysicalmechanisms, aimedatthegenerationofunderstandingofcomplex interconnectedprocesses, ratherthantheexactreproductionofaparticular experiment. Itissometimesoverlookedthat, withsu?cientcare, anum- icalapproachisequallyvalidintheinvestigationofphysicalfundamentals. Numericalsimulationisnotacentraltopicofthisbook, butbecauseofits crucialimportancetoeachofthetwousestowhichnumericalmodellingcan beput, itisvitalthatthecomputationalbasisoftheworkshouldbec- pletelysound. Inaddition, thelevelofprocessdetailwhichcanbeconsidered bythenumericalapproachusuallyexceedswhatispossiblewiththeanaly- calapproachsigni?cantly, leavinglittlechoicebuttoreverttothenumerical treatmentwheninvestigatingtheinterconnectionsbetweenprocesses. Itis forthesereasonsthatthebookconcludeswithachapteroncomprehensive numericalsimulati

Essentials of Dynamics and Vibrations

by John Billingsley

Dynamic objects move in mysterious ways. Their analysis is a difficult subject involving matrices, differential equations and the complex algebra of oscillatory systems. However, in this textbook, the author draws on his long experience of designing autopilots, robots for nuclear inspection and agricultural machine guidance to present the essentials with a light touch. The emphasis is on a deep understanding of the fundamentals rather than rote-learning of techniques. The inertia tensor is presented as a key to understanding motion ranging from boomerangs to gyroscopes. Chains of transformations unravel the motion of a robot arm. To help the reader visualise motion, ranging from unbalanced rotors to vibrating systems with multiple modes and damping, there are abundant simulation examples on a linked website. These will run in any web browser, while their simple code is on open view for modification and experimentation. They show that nonlinear systems present no problems, so that friction damping can be modelled with ease. A particular problem for mechanical engineers is that the vibration topics encroach on the territory of the electrical engineer. State variables open up control theory while the solution of differential equations with sinusoidal inputs is simplified by an understanding of sine-waves as complex exponentials. The linked web site has several areas of mathematics revision to help. A final chapter pokes fun at the misrepresentation of dynamics in cinema productions.

Rainbow Magic #6: Inky the Indigo Fairy

by Daisy Meadows Georgie Ripper

The seven Rainbow Fairies are missing! Rachel and Kirsty search for one in each RAINBOW MAGIC book. Read all seven books to help rescue the fairies and bring the sparkle back to Fairyland!<P> Fairyland is home to seven colorful sisters. Together, they are the Rainbow Fairies! They keep Fairyland dazzling and bright. But when evil Jack Frost sends them far away, the sisters are in big trouble. If they don't return soon, Fairyland is doomed to be gray forever!<P> A magical book sweeps Rachel and Kirsty away to the Land of Sweets. Could Inky the Indigo Fairy be waiting there for them?

Rainbow Magic #5: Sky the Blue Fairy

by Georgie Ripper Daisy Meadows

The seven Rainbow Fairies are missing! Rachel and Kirsty search for one in each RAINBOW MAGIC book. Read all seven books to help rescue the fairies and bring the sparkle back to Fairyland!<P> Fairyland is home to seven colorful sisters. Together, they are the Rainbow Fairies! They keep Fairyland dazzling and bright. But when evil Jack Frost sends them far away, the sisters are in big trouble. If they don't return soon, Fairyland is doomed to be gray forever!<P> The beach means bubble trouble for Sky the Blue Fairy. Can a special friend help Rachel and Kirsty track her down?

Fern the Green Fairy (The Rainbow Fairies #4)

by Georgie Ripper Daisy Meadows

The seven Rainbow Fairies are missing! Rachel and Kirsty search for one in each RAINBOW MAGIC book. Read all seven books to help rescue the fairies and bring the sparkle back to Fairyland!<P> Fairyland is home to seven colorful sisters. Together, they are the Rainbow Fairies! They keep Fairyland dazzling and bright. But when evil Jack Frost sends them far away, the sisters are in big trouble. If they don't return soon, Fairyland is doomed to be gray forever!<P> Rachel and Kirsty are sure that the garden maze holds a special secret. If they make all the right turns, could it lead them to Fern the Green Fairy?

Research Methods in the Study of Substance Abuse

by Sonia A. Alemagno Timothy P. Johnson Jonathan B. Vangeest

This authoritative handbook reviews the most widely-used methods for studying the use and abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs. Its thorough coverage spans the range of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method approaches to documenting and measuring the complex psychological, behavioral, and physical experience of substance misuse and dependence, to ensure valid, useful results. Experts discuss special issues and considerations for conducting ethical research with specialized populations, including youth, inmates, and the LGBT community. Throughout these chapters, contributors demonstrate the multidisciplinary nature of substance abuse research, with emphasis on professional ethics and the critical role of research in developing best practices and effective policy for prevention and treatment. Among the topics covered: #65533; Transdisciplinary research perspective: a theoretical framework for substance abuse research #65533; Longitudinal methods in substance use research #65533; Considerations in blending qualitative and quantitative components in substance abuse research #65533; The use of biological measures in social research on drug misuse #65533; Using surveys to study substance use behavior #65533; Applications of GIS to inform substance abuse research and interventions #65533; Evaluating substance use prevention and treatment programs Research Methods in the Study of Substance Abuse is an essential resource for health services and public health professionals, policymakers, and researchers working and training in the field of addiction. It encourages the rigor and understanding necessary to address widespread social and public health concerns.

Marginal(ized) Prospects through Biblical Ritual and Law

by Bernon Lee

This book follows a reader's logic of association through a series of overlapping constructs in biblical prescription of things prized and lofty--holy hair, unblemished beasts, sacred edibles, wholesome wombs, pristine precincts, esteemed ethnicities and, as unlikely as it seems, dismembered members. Thoroughly intersectional in disposition, Bernon Lee uncovers not just the precariousness of the contrived dichotomies through the identity-building sacred texts, but also the complexities and contentions of a would-be decolonizing hermeneutic bristling with its own tensions and temptations. This volume is an intertextual odyssey through law and ritual from impassioned positions fraught with ambivalence, reticence, and anxiety.

Converting to Islam

by Amy Melissa Guimond

This text aims to discover the shared lived experiences of white American female converts to Islam in post- 9/11 America. It explores the increasingly hostile social climate faced by Muslim Americans, as well as the spiritual, social, physical, and mental integration of these women into the Muslim-American population. In the United States, rates of conversion to Islam are rapidly increasing--alongside Islamophobic sentiment and hate crimes against Muslims. For a period of time, there was a lull in this negative sentiment. However, in light of the Paris terror attacks, the increased prominence of ISIS/ISIL, and the influx of refugees from Syria, anti-Muslim rhetoric is once again on the rise. This volume analyzes how a singular collection of female converts have adapted to life in the United States in the shadow of 9/11.

Women, Economic Development, and Higher Education

by Diane E. Eynon

This book is a multi-disciplinary exploration of the intersection, relationship, and connection between higher education, economic development, and gender in post-Apartheid South Africa. In just twenty years, South Africa has rewritten its constitution, restructured its macroeconomic growth and development policies, restructured its higher education system, and made a commitment to provide opportunity for all its citizens, specifically those who have historically been marginalized, women and blacks. Eynon weaves together these unique perspectives to illustrate how these multiple domains map onto women and the critical role they play in the present and future of the country. Gender equality and women's empowerment and education were considered key drivers to South Africa's transformation.

Young People and Social Control

by Kalwant Bhopal Ross Deuchar

This book explores young people's experiences of social control and the state, especially those living at the margins of society within the UK. In particular, the book focuses on disadvantaged young people's experiences in education, in the labour market, with police and within the criminal justice system. It draws upon insights gathered by the authors in Scotland and England via in-depth interviews with, and observation of, young people in multiple settings and the barriers they come across in terms of justice, equity and inclusion. Deuchar and Bhopal present a range of creative and engaging case studies that illustrate where barriers have been broken down between young people and the agents of social control and elucidate upon how a sense of justice and inclusion has emerged. With its wide-ranging, multi-perspective approach, this study will be essential reading for scholars and students of sociology, criminology and youth studies, as well as holding appeal for policy-makers and practitioners.

Russian-European Relations in the Balkans and Black Sea Region

by Vsevolod Samokhvalov

This book provides a detailed analysis of Russia's 'great power identity' and the role of Europe in forming this identity. 'Great power identity' implies an expansionist foreign policy, and yet this does not explain all the complexities of the Russian state. For instance, it cannot explain why Russia decided to take over Crimea, but provided only limited support to break-away regions in Eastern Ukraine. Moreover, if Russia is in geo-economic competition with Europe, why has no serious conflict erupted between Moscow and other post-Soviet states which developed closer ties with the EU? Finally, why does Putin maintain relationships with the European countries that imposed tough economic sanctions on Russia? Vsevolod Samokhvalov provides a more nuanced understanding of Russia's great power identity by drawing on his experience in regional diplomacy and research and applying a constructivist methodology. The book will appeal to students and scholars of international relations, in particular Russian-European relations, Russian foreign policy and Russian studies.

The Origins of Democracy in Tribes, City-States and Nation-States

by Ronald M. Glassman

This four-part work describes and analyses democracy and despotism in tribes, city-states, and nation states. The theoretical framework used in this work combines Weberian, Aristotelian, evolutionary anthropological, and feminist theories in a comparative-historical context. The dual nature of humans, as both an animal and a consciously aware being, underpins the analysis presented. Part One covers tribes. It uses anthropological literature to describe the "campfire democracy" of the African Bushmen, the Pygmies, and other band societies. Its main focus is on the tribal democracy of the Cheyenne, Iroquois, Huron, and other tribes, and it pays special attention to the role of women in tribal democracies. Part Two describes the city-states of Mesopotamia, Syria, and Canaan-Phoenicia, and includes a section on the theocracy of the Jews. This part focuses on the transition from tribal democracy to city-state democracy in the ancient Middle East - from the Sumerian city-states to the Phoenician. Part Three focuses on the origins of democracy and covers Greece--Mycenaean, Dorian, and the Golden Age. It presents a detailed description of the tribal democracy of Archaic Greece - emphasizing the causal effect of the hoplite-phalanx military formation in egalitarianizing Greek tribal society. Next, it analyses the transition from tribal to city-state democracy--with the new commercial classes engendering the oligarchic and democratic conflicts described by Plato and Aristotle. Part Four describes the Norse tribes as they contacted Rome, the rise of kingships, the renaissance of the city-states, and the parliamentary monarchies of the emerging nation-states. It provides details of the rise of commercial city states in Renaissance Italy, Hanseatic Germany and the Netherlands.

The Last of NASA's Original Pilot Astronauts

by Colin Burgess David J. Shayler

Resulting from the authors' deep research into these two pre-Shuttle astronaut groups, many intriguing and untold stories behind the selection process are revealed in the book. The often extraordinary backgrounds and personal ambitions of these skilled pilots, chosen to continue NASA's exploration and knowledge of the space frontier, are also examined. In April 1966 NASA selected 19 pilot astronauts whose training was specifically targeted to the Apollo lunar landing missions and the Earth-orbiting Skylab space station. Three years later, following the sudden cancellation of the USAF's highly classified Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) project, seven military astronauts were also co-opted into NASA's space program. This book represents the final chapter by the authors in the story of American astronaut selections prior to the era of the Space Shuttle. Through personal interviews and original NASA documentation, readers will also gain a true insight into a remarkable age of space travel as it unfolded in the late 1960s, and the men who flew those historic missions.

Upper Endoscopy for GI Fellows

by Douglas G. Adler

This volume provides a concise overview of the most important and vital aspects of upper endoscopy. The text is specifically geared towards first-year GI fellows and novice endoscopists in order to help them rapidly assimilate the core concepts needed to perform upper endoscopy in the most important and most commonly encountered clinical situations. The book also covers the most important variations of normal anatomy and pathology and how to manage them. Key concepts covered include foreign body removal, diagnosis and management of upper GI bleeding, Barrett's Esophagus, evaluation and management of benign and malignant strictures of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, submucosal lesions, and evaluation of post operative upper GI anatomy. A plethora of high quality color illustrations and narrated online video clips illustrate major concepts in the book are also included. Written by experts in the field, Upper Endoscopy for GI Fellows is a valuable resource for new physicians just starting to perform upper endoscopy.

The Deadlies: Felix Takes the Stage

by Kathryn Lasky Stephen Gilpin

Bestselling author Kathryn Lasky takes readers into the world of the Deadlies--a family of friendly spiders on a search to find a new home. The Deadlies are like any other family with a loving mother and bright, rambunctious children. Except they're spiders. Really, really poisonous ones. But Edith and her children are kind and cultured - they would never hurt anyone. The Deadlies had been happily living in a symphony hall until Edith's son, Felix, had a . . . misunderstanding with the maestro. Now they're on the hunt for a new home. That is, if they can outwit the evil exterminators on their tail. Will they ever find a place to live in peace?

The Land of Elyon #3: Tenth City

by Patrick Carman

The third thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Land of Elyon series! The Land of Elyon has begun to fail, poisoned by the evil that creeps across the Dark Hills and into Bridewell. As she moves toward a thrilling conclusion, Alexa must find a way to overcome the Lonely Sea, rescue Yipes from the clutches of Victor Grindall, and unlock the mystery of the Tenth City. But can she find the answers she needs in time to save The Land of Elyon?

The Land of Elyon #4: Stargazer

by Patrick Carman

Patrick Carman returns to Elyon for the thrilling conclusion to the bestselling Land of Elyon series. When last we saw Alexa Daley, she had defeated a threat in her homeland and was sailing with Roland Warvold across the Lonely Sea. She had no idea what adventures awaited her . . . until now. After a tragic attack by an evil force, Alexa and her friend Yipes are stranded in a strange community known as The Five Stone Pillars. Each pillar of rock has its own secrets . . . and its own challenges. As darkness descends, Alexa must risk everything to defeat it - even if it means taking to the skies.

The Land of Elyon #2: Beyond the Valley of Thorns

by Patrick Carman

The second dazzling installment in Patrick Carman's masterful Land of Elyon trilogy! Alexa thought her troubles were over when she defeated the man who had threatened to bring down Bridewell from within. But now that the walls around her land have fallen, a new, unexpected threat has risen from outside. Suddenly, Alexa is involved in a battle much, much larger than her own life . . . a battle in which she is destined to play a key role. In order to help good defeat evil, Alexa and her friends must venture farther than they've ever gone before -- confronting giants, bats, ravenous dogs, and a particularly ghoulish mastermind in order to bring back peace.

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