cover image A Clatter of Jars

A Clatter of Jars

Lisa Graff. Philomel, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-399-17499-5

In this warmhearted companion to A Tangle of Knots (2013), Graff revisits a world divided by those with magical “Talents” and those without, and the inevitable strain it places on relationships. Camp Atropos plays host to children with a variety of peculiar and impressive Talents, from communicating with frogs to levitating. A typical summer session involves swimming in the lake, a camp-wide sleepover, and a Talent show, but this isn’t a typical summer: someone has the ability to mimic and steal campers’ Talents. Graff reprises several elements from the previous book—narration that rotates among several protagonists, as well as a handful of recipes (summery beverages instead of cakes). Her ensemble cast consists of characters struggling with sibling-related troubles: Jo, a misguided camp director desperate to reunite with her estranged sister; Lily, a telekinetic “Pinnacle” who misses her brother; Renny, a brother hiding a family secret; and Chuck, a twin desperate to discover her own uniqueness. As Talents get stolen and swapped, the story can get a bit muddled, but Graff brings the plot threads to a satisfying resolution. Ages 8–12. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Inkwell Management. (May)