Another home run from the author of Roller Girl! Imogene has been home schooled and has grown up assisting her family at their shop at the renaissance fair, perfecting her sword fighting skills, and dreaming of becoming a paid squire. But when she enters public school, her priorities are tested and her values are challenged in the new environment. Anyone who has survived middle school will definitely relate as Imogene struggles to navigate the cliques, the unwritten rules, and the difficult teachers while staying true to herself. Her experiences are universally familiar while still featuring a one-of-a-kind heroine.
To be honest, I was reluctant to start this book. A story about an oak tree and a crow didn't quite capture my interest. But I took a step of faith based on Applegate's abilities, and read on anyway, and I'm so glad I did! What an unexpected delight, with a story so simple and true, I'm sure it will resonate with every reader. This is a timely book, great for any individual, but would be especially fruitful to discuss in a family or classroom setting.
A beautifully written story on friendship, grief, loss, and healing with a generous helping of mystery and suspense thrown into the mix. Every character and environment is poppin'-off-the-page real, to the point where I could almost feel the muggy Georgia summer, even though it was 25* out and my hands were frozen numb from holding the book. (I couldn't put it down after I picked it back up.)
This is more than your average coming-of-age tale - this is a story that teaches about compassion, mental illness, tolerance, and gender issues.
An absolute must-read and essential addition to every middle school library.