Despite its formulaic predictability, this story of a girl's facing her fears will have readers in her comer. Jezebel is a young African-American whose mother has died and whose father leaves for war at the beginning of the book. Even with her grandmother at home (somewhere in the South) and a younger brother, Jezebel sometimes feels low and lonely. When waiting for her father to return overwhelms her, Jezebel heads to a spooky spot in the swamp, a sacred place where she is both solaced and challenged. Time and again she wends her way there, where she must contend with spiders, swamp ghosts, and pixie lights in order to experience the healing balm of that special landscape. When her father returns, Jezebel learns that her special place is not hers alone. In less dexterous hands, this story would sink into mawkishness, but the Rosses keep things nimble with fast pacing and scene shifts; Rand's artwork restlessly shuffles between Jezebel's moxie and her understandable melancholy and anger.