A 13-year-old who sees memories tackles the mystery of a missing girl.
Starting eighth grade at Yielding Middle School, Raine knows about “all the yuck that goes along with being the new girl.” Because her single mom is constantly starting over, Raine has attended five schools so far and longs to make friends, fit in and settle down. Raine’s ability to see “sparkles” that convey the memories of others gives her special insights. At school, Raine quickly identifies Jennifer as leader of the mean girls who bully vulnerable classmates. She also learns that her family has moved into the house where Emily Huvar, an unpopular girl who mysteriously disappeared two months earlier, used to live. As Raine discovers things about her classmates from their "sparkles," she sees a link between Jennifer’s bullying and Emily’s disappearance. Eventually, Raine realizes Emily’s not dead, but she’s also not out of danger, which now spreads to Raine. Speaking in a colloquial, feisty, humorous first-person, Raine recounts her vulnerable longing to belong, her bold stand against class bullies and her resolve to unravel Emily’s disappearance—they all ring true, despite the “sparkles.”
Magic exposes the extent of vicious school bullying in this arresting middle school mystery. (Magical realism. 10-14)