by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The three-time Newbery Honor winning author of The Egypt Game
The Headless Cupid
brings us yet another creepy, magical
mystery. This one is inspired by the idea that we are surrounded by creatures that we cannot see, feel, hear, or smell. Theyre real, but
our senses are not tuned in to their presence. Plus, those who know about them call them things like reflejos and spiegels (reflections
and mirrors) because they take their shape and their behavior from your feelings. Happy, safe feelings mean warm, cuddly creatures; angry,
hateful feelings mean creatures that bite and scratch.
So maybe its a good thing no one can see them. No one, that is, who doesnt have a magical key to open their senses to this strange,
unseen world. Some people do have such keys, and they experience marvelous things.
Xandra Hobson should not be one of those people. She is far too volatile, too often angry, selfish, and mean. She is discontented with her
place in a large, well-to-do family full of brilliant, beautiful children. At school, she tends to join Marcies Mob of bullying, popular
girls and to ignore oddballs like Belinda. Torn between wanting to fit in and not wanting anyone to tell her what to do, Xandra simmers in
sullenness and occasionally boils over in fury.
But then, an act of kindness toward a wounded bird leads Xandra to discover the unseen world, through a magic feather that acts as a key.
And the only people who can explain what to do with this key are weird Belinda and her even weirder grandfather.
The author of this book takes some big risks, such as focusing the story on a character who is not very attractive, who grows and changes so
slowly and with such agonizing setbacks that you often wonder if she will ever get there. Plus, the magic portrayed in this book sometimes
seems sinister, sometimes vaguely spiritual, and sometimes completely unreal. Is this the kind of magic fairy tales are based on? Or is this
something completely original, never imagined before? You get to decide for yourself...another gamble that the author has taken. Is it worth
it? I think so. Why dont you read it and make up your own mind?
Recommended Age: 12+
If you would like to contact Robbie, you may do so here.