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Karleen Bradford.
Richmond Hill, ON: Scholastic-TAB, 1985.
105pp., paper, $2.95.
ISBN 0-590-7151-7-8. CIP.

Grades 7-9 / Ages 12-14

Reviewed by Jo Anna B. Patton.

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

This unusual story takes place in a dreary old mansion that thirteen-year-old Alison and her widowed father have inherited. From the first day, Alison senses something odd about the house, and particularly about a special room in the house. Finding herself irresistably drawn to this room, Alison soon discovers the diary of thirteen-year-old Bronwen, who also lived in the house with her widowed father, over one hundred years ago. From this point on, the reader sees the similarity between Alison and Bronwen, long before Alison sees it. Bronwen, like Alison, resents the fact that her father is showing interest in another woman and eventually brings on the death of that woman. It is Alison's responsibility not to let history repeat itself, or perhaps even greater, to change the course of history.

Like other titles by Bradford, this tale holds one's interest. The reader feels a certain empathy with Alison, yet at the same time, sees the destructive course on which she is bent. The ending is predictable, but with a little twist for interest. The author also includes a brief pronunciation guide at the beginning for the few Welsh names that are included. This title is typical of Bradford's style, which is quite popular with young girls. Although not as realistic as I Wish There Were Unicorns ¹, the reader detects the same sense of the unusual found in The Other Elizabeth (Gage, 1982) and The Stone in the Meadow ². A recommended title for high school libraries and public libraries with a young adult collection.

Jo Anna B. Patton, ECS School for Girls, Westmount, PQ.

¹ Reviewed vol. XI/5 September 1983, p.199.
² Reviewed vol. XII/5 September 1984, p.190.

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