From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8–Seventh-grader Octavia Boone is having a tumultuous and life-changing year. Her mother, who has always been flighty and in search of fulfillment, becomes enamored with a fundamentalist religious group. She soon begins a radical transformation that ultimately results in her moving in with fellow Redeemers a few towns over. Octavia's problems are exacerbated by her father, who constantly quotes Henry David Thoreau. He is angry at his wife and rather selfish to begin with. While Octavia is respectful of religion, she does not like the Redeemers and questions why this is all happening. She decides that if she is able to use her science-fair project to prove that there is no god, her mother will come home and everything will go back to normal. Rupp does exhibit a bias against some aspects of this religious group and also shows that adults are not always right, do not always know what is best, and can be quite flawed. The sensory condition synesthesia is used as a device, but seems a bit unnecessary in a story that already has so many complicating elements. However, there are great lessons to be learned about judging others and being torn between opposing views, and the author does show how hard it can be to be a kid sometimes.Kerry Roeder, The Brearley School, New York City
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About the Author
Rebecca Rupp is the author of SARAH SIMPSON'S RULES FOR LIVING, JOURNEY TO THE BLUE MOON, THE DRAGON OF LONELY ISLAND and THE RETURN OF THE DRAGON. She lives in Swanton, Vermont.