cover image The Secret of Goldenrod

The Secret of Goldenrod

Jane O’Reilly. Carolrhoda, $17.99 (376p) ISBN 978-1-5124-0135-6

“It was a hopeless old house, sitting in the middle of a yellow sea like a dried-up island.” That’s fifth-grader Trina’s assessment of her father’s latest renovation project, a crumbling and possibly haunted Queen Anne style mansion. Trina and Poppo have just made yet another cross-country move, this time from New Mexico to New Royal, Iowa, population 397. Poppo restores houses while Trina’s mother travels the world, keeping in touch through postcards. But Trina has had her fill of moving and being the new kid in school, and she dreams of finding a friend. After she discovers an antique talking doll, Augustine—who tells Trina that she has lost her family, is waiting for a prince, and is lonely, too—Trina attempts to locate Augustine’s missing family members in the house, a quest that drives O’Reilly gentle debut. O’Reilly gives Trina a rich inner life, and evocative descriptions paint a vivid picture of her new home. This is a memorable and complex tale about negotiating change and coming into one’s own. Ages 8–12. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (Oct.)