"After all, if you dont ask the world questions, then you wont ever work out where the rainbow begins." And, boy, does Cedar B. Hartley have questions! Like, why wont her Mum tell her about her father, who died when Cedar was a baby? And what happened to her older brother Barnaby, who ran away from boarding school and keeps in touch sporadically through cryptic postcards? The only thing that helps Cedar forget these troubling questions is her new hobby; acrobatics. When she goes tumbling with her new friend Kite, who can fly just like the bird he was named for, she comes close to finding the start of that elusive rainbow. Missing brothers, mysterious fathers, and the funny, more-than-friends feeling she has for Kite aren't going to keep Cedar B. Hartley from finding the answers shes looking for to fulfill her plan for an "unusual life!"
Debut Australian author Martine Murray is a writer to watch. Equal parts Pippi Longstocking and Anastasia Krupnik, her audacious Aussie tomboy Cedar will quickly charm the Capri pants off the female pre-teen set with her pithy sayings and sweet naiveté. A thoughtfully placed glossary of Cedars slang is included at the end of the novel for those young readers unfamiliar with the jargon "down-under." A delightful must-read for fans of Paula Danziger and Jacqueline Wilson. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-In this tender growing-up story from Australia, 12-year-old, "exasperating and potentially infamous" Cedar B. Hartley misses her older brother who ran away from home, wonders about the circumstances of her father's death 11 years ago, and nourishes a friendship with Kite, boy acrobat. Her practice with him results in accomplished acrobatic routines, and their friendship gently evolves into romance. With unique and fully realized supporting characters and a multiethnic, urban environment, this story vibrates with authenticity. At a crucial moment, Cedar thinks, "Sometimes life hits you at such a startling lightning kind of angle, that you get pushed off your normal viewing spot. You stop knowing how things are. Instead of what you know, there are the patterns that stars make; the sound of the night breathing; the small aching spot where your feet touch the earth.- You think that if there is an It, you and It are nearly touching." This unique, vulnerable, and hugely likable protagonist has the potential to push readers off their "normal viewing spots." Small, wonderfully quirky line drawings accompany this breezy yet serious novel, which includes an amusing glossary of Australian terms.
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Susan Patron, Los Angeles Public Library
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