Kathleen Van Cleve, Author . Dial $16.99 (358p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3362-6

With a sense of magic that recalls Ingrid Law's Savvy , this bighearted coming-of-age story stars 11-year-old Polly Peabody, who lives with her family on a farm like no other. At Rupert's Rhubarb Farm, magic abounds: chocolate rhubarb flourishes; it rains at 1 p.m. every Monday; there's a lake in which no one can drown; and tourists clamor for rides on the giant umbrella. But when a mysterious mist descends, things go haywire: Polly's brother, Freddy, gets sick, her Aunt Edith threatens to sell the farm, and Polly gets in a fight with her best friend, Harry (a chocolate rhubarb plant). While Aunt Edith encourages Polly to read Emerson and look for opportunities away from the farm, in her heart Polly knows that she belongs nowhere else, and she must overcome her numerous fears (like of the farm's giant insects and slimy “slugsand”) to discover her own gift and save the farm. “I have to believe that something good can always happen. In other words, I believe in magic,” says Polly, whose oddball traits and sensitivity make her a lovable, sympathetic narrator. Van Cleve's debut is emotionally subtle and action packed with a highly memorable setting. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/01/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Open Ebook - 978-1-101-41184-1
Paperback - 358 pages - 978-0-14-241113-1
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-101-19763-9
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