Blue Mountain Trouble

Martin Mordecai, Author
Martin Mordecai, Author Arthur A. Levine Books $16.99 (341p) ISBN 978-0-545-04156-0
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First-time author Mordecai, a native Jamaican, brings the Blue Mountain region of his homeland to life in a unique coming-of-age story tinged with mystery. Next year, twins Pollyread and Jackson Gilmore will be moving to town to live with their aunt and attend secondary school. But for the time being, they are focusing on strange occurrences in their mountain village of Top Valley. Periodic sightings of a phantom goat that seems to act as their protector are unnerving, but more disturbing is the return of Jammy, a villager who has spent time in prison and has now taken root on the Gilmore's land. Through colorful narrative punctuated with regional colloquialisms and poetic language (""When you sleep your whole life under open windows in a place so quiet you can feel the night sky move, then rain when it wakes you is like God telling you stories""), the author captures the rhythm of the children's daily life and effectively conveys their hopes, fears and family love as they look toward the future and learn secrets about the past. Ages 9-12.
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