CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 30 . . . . April 10, 2015
It’s the summer of 1969, and 12-year-old Pepper is out of sorts. Mom and Dad are shipping her and older brother Everett off to spend the summer with Grandma on a small island off the coast of British Columbia. Pepper, who was adopted as an infant, is no longer certain of her place in the family. Now that her parents are having a baby of their own, will they still want her? Adding to her discomfort, life on the island is Spartan at best. Grandma’s cabin is literally a shack, without electricity or indoor plumbing. Pepper spends her time meeting other island dwellers (who range from wealthy jet-setters to draft dodgers and hippies), practicing her ESP skills, and trying to figure out who her birth parents were. Some mysterious dreams, a chance meeting with a runaway orphan, and her own insecurities all conspire to confuse her—and lead her to making some dangerous decisions.
Chamberlain’s historical novel recalls a simpler time when it was generally safe to leave the car keys in your car, and letting your kids wander around alone on an island was not considered bad parenting. Pepper’s insecurities about her place in the family and her naiveté in general are very believable—as are the mysterious details surrounding Ray, who claims to be Pepper’s biological brother. Strong, identifiable characters and a clearly described setting are the book’s strengths and should please readers looking for an intriguing summertime read.
Kay Weisman, a librarian and reviewer, writes “Information Matters” for School Library Monthly and works as a youth librarian at West Vancouver Memorial Library.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.