Sixth-grader Wren is besieged with worry.
After her mother’s hospitalization for a breakdown, Wren and her little brother must stay with their aunt and cousin for a few weeks. Only recently acquainted with them, Wren feels uncertain and slightly in awe of her popular cousin, Silver. The transition also increases Wren’s concern for her 8-year-old brother, Russell, who has Asperger’s syndrome. Although struggling in the aftermath of her mother’s abrupt departure, Wren initially identifies with her mother emotionally, asserting that they are both worriers. However, Wren’s increasing dissatisfaction with the incessant worrying evolves into a yearning to be braver than she often feels. Living with Aunt Marianne and Silver exposes Wren to a more free-spirited outlook on life, encouraging her to expand her self-imposed boundaries. Through her deepening friendship with Silver, Wren discovers her inner resilience. Galante’s compassionate portrayal of Wren reveals a child coping with a mother’s long-term depression, a caring, responsible sister who demonstrates a mature understanding of her brother, and a young girl endeavoring to manage her own anxieties. Unifying the tale is the mystery that surrounds Creeper Mountain’s reclusive inhabitant, Witch Weatherly. When Silver decides to seek out the truth about the legendary recluse, Wren reluctantly participates. After a serious accident occurs during their mountain excursion to find Witch Weatherly, Wren must decide if she has the fortitude to persevere despite her worries.
Galante’s penned a poignant tale of self-discovery. (Fiction. 10-14)