Cathy Cassidy, Author . Viking $15.99 (247p) ISBN 978-0-670-05936-2

First-time author Cassidy introduces Dizzy on her 12th birthday, when her mother, a New Age gypsy who calls herself Storm, reappears after an eight-year absence. Convinced that her father has given his permission, Dizzy takes off with Storm to tour some outdoor festivals and get to know her mom better. But while Dizzy gets glimpses of what makes her mother special, Storm mostly ignores her. And although the girl makes some friends, bonding with Finn and troubled Mouse, she hates the way the townspeople judge them for being "crusty kids." Mostly, she misses her dad and starts thinking he's having fun without her (Storm had told her they were going to meet up with him at a festival, so Dizzy is confused when he doesn't show up). Readers will get a clear picture of Dizzy's life on the road; she sleeps in a tepee and dances at an all-night party next to a giant bonfire (to make money, Storm reads tarot cards and her boyfriend does crystal healings). Some of the narration seems too mature for a 12-year-old ("For the first time since I came here, I begin to understand. He's like me, Mouse. He never had a family, not a proper one"), but it's easy to empathize with the heroine's complicated emotions (and with those of Mouse, who's more alone than she). Overall, readers will appreciate this unique world that Dizzy has discovered, even as they hope she finds her way back. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 10/11/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-14-131785-4
Paperback - 247 pages - 978-0-14-240474-4
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