cover image The Carrefour Curse

The Carrefour Curse

Dianne K. Salerni. Holiday House, $18.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8234-5267-5

A family reclaims its magical legacy in this standout, genre-bending dark fantasy from Salerni (Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts). Twelve-year-old Garnet Carrefour’s mother raised her far from the family estate, the source of their ley-line-based nature powers, but with great-grand-father Jasper dying, the family’s magic compels the two back for an impending transfer of magic. Initially excited to meet her extended family, Garnet soon learns why her mother never visited Crossroad House: Jasper prowls the dilapidated home, leeching life force from his most vulnerable descendants, and an augury predicts that Garnet will repeat the fate of a girl who vanished during Jasper’s last seemingly fatal illness. As “time-traveling visions” unpredictably jolt her into the missing girl’s past, Garnet probes her family history, hoping to dodge the curse by solving a decades-old mystery. Salerni enlivens classic horror tropes and gothic ambience, complete with a sentient manor house, blending wry humor with atmospheric descriptions to create Garnet’s compulsively readable first-person voice. The meticulously built, grounded magic system provides a fantastical buffer around realistic depictions of abuse, while supportive family relationships transcend a cycle of generational trauma. Main characters read as white. Ages 8–12. Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties. (Jan.)