From School Library Journal
Grade 6-9-An enjoyable fantasy that offers food for thought. Bonnie is trapped between the possibility of happiness with her mother and the reality that her controlling grandmother, "Grandbag," will never leave them alone. As Bonnie says, "She sees things, you see, and they have to be hers.- And it's not just things- It's people too. If someone's hers, she'll never let them go-." When Bonnie sees a neighbor blowing up a big, blue hot-air balloon, she tries to sneak aboard and inadvertently takes off alone. When she arrives in the "world beyond the sky," she finds that it looks exactly like her world-same people, same buildings, but with some definite differences- some of them scary. She meets the family she always wanted- her double lives happily with her mother, her father, and a new baby sister. Unfortunately, evil Grandbag's double also arrives in the village and has her sights set on her granddaughter's new family. Bonnie must try to save them, and herself, and in the process finds the courage to return home. The conclusion leaves open the possibility that happy endings do happen, and that just maybe, Bonnie will finally have the peace and happiness she has always longed for. This book is reminiscent of Madeleine L'Engle's "Wrinkle in Time" series, with the characters learning more of themselves in other worlds and translating that knowledge into their everyday lives at home.Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 5-7. Bonnie's oppressive grandmother, "Grandbag," torments her and her mother, Maybelle. To escape, Bonnie flees the apartment and discovers a strange, magical enclosure, a launching area for a balloon that takes her into a parallel world. There, a warm, loving farm family adopts Bonnie, who is amazed that she and a girl named Arabella look alike, as do Arabella's mum and Maybelle. Bonnie enjoys their cozy, idyllic life until a "Grandmother Marvel" appears and maliciously threatens the girls. Bonnie longs to stay but realizes she must return to her own world to save Arabella. Upon her return, Bonnie discovers some surprises that connect the two worlds. Do ancient spirits protect the hills? Why do people in one world look just like those in the other? Is the story a dream, or is it real? The deft interplay of fantasy and reality leaves some questions for readers to answer. Linda PerkinsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved