cover image The Turnabout Shop

The Turnabout Shop

Colby F. Rodowsky. Farrar Straus Giroux, $16 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-374-37889-9

The author of Remembering Mog offers another sensitive rendering of loss, this time focusing on how fifth-grader Livvy begins a new life after her mother's death. Through a series of imaginary notes to her mother (""I decided I would write it out to Althea--not on paper, though, but only in my head""), Livvy states her impressions of her new guardian, all-too-sensible Jessie Barnes (""You could have told me she was a moth instead of a butterfly""); her new Baltimore neighborhood; and Jessie's ""old and dusty"" antique store called the Turnabout Shop. Despite the heroine's complaints about Jessie and homesickness for New York, readers will know, almost immediately, that Livvy has been placed in good hands and will come to cherish Jessie as much as her mother did. Less complex and psychologically tense than the author's previous novel, this nonetheless poignant, quiet story offers a reassuring view of coming to terms with grief and unwelcome change. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)