cover image Lucy Forever and Miss Rosetree, Shrinks (Hc)

Lucy Forever and Miss Rosetree, Shrinks (Hc)

Susan Shreve. Henry Holt & Company, $13.95 (121pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-0340-6

They're not actually shrinks, only two imaginative sixth-graders who pattern their ""practice'' on that of Lucy Forever's child-psychiatrist father. The girls befriend a young patient of the doctor'sbreaking one of his cardinal ruleswhen they sense a connection between her muteness and the bright red scar across her throat. Lucy Forever, undeterred by parental admonitions and a growing realization of the danger she is in, keeps looking for the reason for the girl's terrorand finds it. With a wonderful ear for the dialogue of children and the patterns of their most serious play, Shreve creates realistic, memorable characters. She moves easily from a child's make-believe world to the nightmare of an orphanage run by a psychotic child-abuser. A satisfying and deftly written story. Ages 10-12. (May)