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Awake and Dreaming

by Kit Pearson

Published by U.S. edition: Viking, 1997
228 pages
ISBN: 0-670-86954-6

Ages 11 - 13

Kit Pearson's fresh, original ghost story is grounded in a young girl's longing for family. Nine-year-old Theo likes to imagine herself a middle child, surrounded on all sides by love. She's sure that life in "real" family--with a mother and father, brother and sisters--would mean happiness. Daydreaming about it certainly allows her some respite from the hard, scraping life she shares with her mother, a young woman emotionally ill-equipped to take care of herself, let alone Theo as well. Then Theo finds herself taken in by the Kaldors, a family as blissful and perfect as those in books like All-of-a-Kind Family that Theo loves to read. It never occurs to Theo that the Kaldors are too perfect to be true, she only knows that being with them makes her feel safe and secure and loved. When Theo discovers that her months with the Kaldors were only a dream, she is devastated. And when she finds out that the Kaldors are real people and live in the very house that Theo dreamt about, she is convinced it is something more than a dream she experienced. The answer to what happened lies in the restless spirit of a woman who, when she was alive, wrote the kind of books for children that Theo loves, a spirit who helps Theo understand that perfect families are never real, and real families--whoever they are--make for much more interesting reading--and life. CCBC categories: Fiction for Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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