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Use your powers for good
(Updated: June 04, 2015)
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Raine isn't happy that her mother has moved them again, escaping from another not-so-nice boyfriend and "starting over". It means a new school, and fitting in, which is especially hard for Raine, since she has the ability to pick up "sparkles" and be able to read a person's memory. On her first day in her new school, she meets Shirlee, who has never been to a public school, having been homeschooled by her conservative mother. They get along well, but both of them end up on the wrong side of the reigning mean girl, Jennifer. The worst news? Jennifer is on the cross country team, and Raine wants to run. The two make an uneasy peace, but Raine is upset to find out that the house that she and her mother are renting was the home of Emily Huvar, who went missing earlier in the year. Through her own observations, as well as from the memories from "sparkles" that she picks up, Raine figures out that Emily was on the receiving end of a lot of Jennifer's meanness. When Raine is close to figuring out what has happened to Emily, she is put into danger herself, and must rely on her wits to get her out of a bad situation.

I did not see the twist in this coming, which is always a welcome surprise. Along with murder mysteries (which, oddly, are not often written for middle grade readers!), my students ask for books where children are kidnapped, things like Duffy's Missing, Kehret's Abduction, and Robert's Hostage. This is a refreshing addition to that type of book, rather like Corrigan's Accomplice. The mean girls are realistically drawn, and Raine's difficulties with her own mother add an interesting perspective to the story. It doesn't hurt that cross country is involved, either!
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June 05, 2015
Thank you so much for reviewing! I loved that you didn't see the twist coming. And now I must read Corrigan's Accomplice!
~Barrie Summy
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