Olivia and her mom have just moved in with her grandmother, and Olivia has exactly zero friends at her new school. Read more...
Olivia and her mom have just moved in with her grandmother, and Olivia has exactly zero friends at her new school. But after a strange message on the bathroom wall of a cafe catches her eye, Olivia decides that Birmingham, Alabama, may be a little more interesting than it seems. So begins a search for answers that takes her all over the city. Luckily, her mission isn t solitary for long, thanks to her newfound friendship with Amelia, a girl just odd enough to be intriguing.
What the girls discover isn t the earth-shattering revelation they were hoping for, but it may be just as compelling. After all, sometimes the journey really is more important than the destination. Especially when it leads you back home."
- ISBN-13: 9780803738379
- ISBN-10: 0803738374
- Publisher: Dial Books
- Publish Date: May 2015
- Page Count: 176
- Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-02
- Reviewer: Staff
Eleven-year-old Olivia is desperate for something to distract her from the realities of a dead father and a seriously ill mother when a mysterious message on a restaurant’s bathroom wall has her trying to crack the code of the “Plantagenet,” be they aliens, a line of kings, or something more pedestrian. Along the way Olivia befriends a frog-keeping girl named Amelia, creating her first real connection in Birmingham, Ala., aside from kindly coffeehouse cashiers and the phantom scrawler. Phillips (The Hidden Summer) crafts a touching exploration of love and loss, told through the perspective of a child enduring adult responsibilities thrust upon her. Instead of bowing to pressure, Olivia is resilient, wise, and shrewd, while retaining childlike sensibilities, including a belief that anything is possible. Even as her mother’s health improves, Olivia wishes that she will never get sick or old, and the message suggests that there’s a way to make it so. The idea of living forever takes on a more poignant and attainable meaning by the time the two girls solve the mystery behind the riddle. Ages 10–up. (May)