It’s Avalon’s 11th year—her Infinity Year—the brief period when she and her very best friend, Atticus, will discover and be able to use their shared magic power.
Or that’s what Atticus’ grandfather has told them, and the two credulous children believe him. It will be a year of excruciating challenges for Avalon (who, like Atticus, is depicted as a dark-haired white figure on the cover). Her father is in prison, and everyone in her small school is aware of her shame. She’s relentlessly bullied by classmate Elena and her pair of minions. Her beloved cat goes missing. A week later, Atticus dreams of where the cat may be trapped. When the dream turns out to be unfathomably correct, they’re both sure Atticus has acquired his magic. One of the few highlights of Avalon’s year is when she shares spelling-bee honors with a seventh grader and is bound for the regionals. Then she unwittingly reveals Atticus’ painful secret—that he wets the bed—and the story is shared schoolwide. Atticus abandons her; without his gentle, insightful support, Avalon retaliates against Elena with devastating consequences. All these painfully acquired life lessons are related in Avalon’s genial, evocative voice, convincingly illuminating many of the issues of a year that can offer infinite possibilities, even if the magic is imagined.
A fine, tenderly nuanced tale of the remarkable power of friendship. (Fiction. 9-12)