cover image Rachel, Meet Your Angel

Rachel, Meet Your Angel

Fran Manushkin. Puffin Books, $3.99 (128pp) ISBN 978-0-14-037198-7

Never mind the hokey premise, the strings of coincidences or the gosh-golly tone of the dialogue. Middle-grade girls whose taste in novels runs to the fanciful will find the inaugural novel in the Angel Corners series a fun--if flighty--read. After her father dies, Rachel and her veterinarian mother move from Los Angeles to the small town of Angel Corners. From her heavenly perch, the Queen of Angels sends Merribel, an angel-in-training, to watch over Rachel, who is lonely and miserable as the new girl in fifth grade. Before long, Rachel makes friends with three other girls (the requisite beauty, athlete and eccentric) and they form the Angel Club to help raise money to fix the town clock (which, yes, has an angel motif). A diabolical classmate plots to wreck the group's plans, but good, predictably, triumphs over evil. Promises of future adventures pairing Rachel's friends with Merribel's colleagues end this tale on a felicitous note. Ages 8-12. (Feb.)