Cathy Cassidy, Author . Viking $16.99 (261p) ISBN 978-0-670-06068-9

Rebellious Scarlett still has not gotten over her father's cheating and her parents' divorce. When she gets thrown out of yet another school, her mother sends her from London to the Irish countryside to live with her father, his pregnant wife and her stepmother's nine-year-old daughter. Scarlett begs her mother, "Don't make me do it," but in her new home, she finds space—both from her family and in the enchanting surroundings—to start letting go of her anger. She also makes a connection with a mysterious boy, Kian, whom she meets by the lough, riding bareback. Kian tells her about a wishing tree, where people "leave offerings, ask for favors." Cassidy (Indigo Blue ) weaves in some lovely images, such as Scarlett's ripping up her old red clothes as ribbons to tie all over the wishing tree for her new baby sister. Readers will appreciate that her biological parents are flawed people. When Scarlett injures her stepsister trying to pierce her nose, her father yells, "What were you trying to do? Make her into—into—a freak? Like you?" The only jarring bit here is Scarlett's age; at 12, she seems young for the relationship she develops with Kian, which includes intense conversation and a night spent out by the lough. Readers will be captivated by the wise, wild Kian, though, who disappears when others are around; he adds to the magic that cloaks Scarlett's story. Ages 9-up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 11/20/2006
Release date: 11/01/2006
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 326 pages - 978-4-03-726850-3
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4362-6381-8
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 272 pages - 978-1-4362-6434-1
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4406-2131-4
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