One of my favourite books from tweenhood (is that a word?) is Janet Lunn's The Root Cellar (CAN, JP, US). It's about a 12-year-old orphan who travels back in time to make her first real friends and witness the end of the Civil War in the US. I have read it at least a dozen times, and I have loved it each time. I think that I read Double Spell (CAN, JP, US) in the library and then wanted more so I ordered The Root Cellar by Scholastic Book Club. I miss that monthly catalogue.
I was so happy to find a copy of this book, Shadow In Hawthorn Bay (CAN, JP, US), also by Janet Lunn, which seemed to be of similar paranormal subject matter. It's in a different time period, and no time traveling, unfortunately (I love time travel). Despite that, it's a good read. It's an award winner too, as a children's and young adult book!
I was a little shocked to be thrown into the paranormal on the first page. Mairi has "two sights" and this isn't hidden. I think part of why I like time travel is that it takes a bit to get into the oddities, so first you can think of those characters as somewhat like you and then they fall into 15th century Scotland. There is no holding back here, though. Mairi can hear voices from across the sea, see auras, tell the future, and do a bit of healing. That being said, her determination and her fumbling around her new neighbours as she moves to Canada from Scotland make her endearing. It takes a bit of time to warm up to Mairi but she is quite loveable for all her faults with people.
Janet Lunn is extremely knowledgeable about historical Ontario and it shows. I am also reading The Queen's Dollmaker and it is interesting to compare the two. Lunn knows it all but parcels the facts out organically, while Christine Trent seems determined to stick everything she knows in and it doesn't always seem natural. I can see why my 13 year-old self loved Lunn's work.
I think any of these books would make a great YA read for Halloween. They're not scary, but some of them are spooky. Some of the covers are seriously creepy as well.
Now I have to source a copy of The Hollow Tree!
This was my 12th book for the 5th Canadian Book Challenge