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Moonpenny Island

by Tricia Springstubb
Illustrated by Gilbert Ford

Published by Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins, 2015
292 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-211293-4

Ages 8-12

Florís uneventful but happy life is dealt two simultaneous blows. Her best friend Sylvie, the only other 11-year-old in their Lake Erie island community, is sent away to attend a private academy at the same time that Florís Mom leaves, ostensibly to care for her ill mother. But Flor knows that her grandmotherís many relatives living nearby could help her out and suspects her Momís leaving has more to do with the escalating arguing between her parents. Money is tight, and sometimes Flor imagines that itís hard for her mom being the only non-white person, let alone the only Spanish-speaker, on the island. Meanwhile, Florís perfect older sister Cecelia has become secretive and distant, abandoning Flor just when she needs her most. Welcoming the distraction of island newcomers, Flor finds herself intrigued by eccentric Dr. Fife and his daughter Jasper and their study of trilobites. Friendships and connections, both enduring and unexpected, play important roles in a story rich with character development, which successfully blends a compelling plot with thoughtful introspection, all framed by the appealing small-town island setting. (MVL)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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