kay, I’m going to sound like a hipster, but since this is a kids’ read I’ll tell you the magical way I came upon this book. My wife and I were having a leisurely ride on our tandem in a tree-covered neighborhood and found a little book box curbside. You know, where are the places where you can add or take books, just a place to swap. Most of them were kid books and this was no exception. Sight unseen, I pulled it. The universe must have been directing my hand.
So this story runs between three main characters (and it takes a while to learn who is who since it’s not clear). There’s Vigil, a meek little boy who only friend is his pet hamster Gulliver. And there’s Kaori, a Japanese girl who wishes her parents had been born in a misty Samurai village and not Ohio, a self-proclaimed psychic who makes up this art she practices with hard-headed firmness. And then there is Valencia, an angry girl who never listens to anything anyone says. And this isn’t because she is angry – it is because she is deaf.
In a way, they are outcasts in the way that only children can be: misunderstood, troubled, bullied. There is budding romance that must overcome shyness. There is a child down a well. There is a brutish boy down the street. There are text, trials and troubles.
What are the details of the proceeding paragraph? Who falls down a well? Who is in love? Not going to say, other than that this is a book that shows how it is possible to find truth and happiness, to overcome the world that pushes so hard, and redemption (and our happy ending) comes on the book’s final word.
Beautiful. Look for it – you should be able to find this one. Erin Entrada Kelly. Tell her I sent you.