HOLLY STARCROSS by Berlie Doherty


Age Range: 12 - 15
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Everything Doherty writes is fresh and enchanting: exquisite language, brimming with love, telling stories all readers want to hear. Fourteen-year-old Holly’s life is full of stories not quite finished, and she longs to find their completion. Her beautiful mother is a British TV personality and her sweet, heroic stepfather Henry is the producer; Holly loves her twin siblings and baby Zoë almost to distraction. But she knows she had another life, one with her father, in the country, with horses and another set of grandparents. She hasn’t seen her father since she was six, when her mother took her away to live with Henry. Additionally, Holly exchanges e-mail with someone named Zed. She doesn’t know anything about Zed, except e-mails that encourage her to think, to ask questions, and to ponder. When Holly’s father finally tracks her down, the two go on a dizzying journey: the car breaks down, Holly’s mother calls the police, and charges of kidnapping hit the news. The duo have a fraught couple of days while Holly’s father fills in the blanks with tales of Holly’s birth, of his parents’ childhood, and of the farm Holly dimly remembers and loved. In the end, Holly has to choose. There are no villains, only people trying to do their best with what they have. Holly’s love of the cello turns out to have a family link—and Zed? Well, Zed’s identity turns out to be the best of the disclosures. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-001341-9
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2002


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