TANGLED WEBB by Eloise McGraw


Age Range: 10 - 14
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 Juniper Webb's new stepmother is nearer her own age (12) than Dad's, but--though protective of family traditions she associates with her dead mother--Juniper is prepared to welcome Kelsey and her toddler son, Preston. Kelsey is mysteriously unpredictable, however--friendly, obviously in love with Dad, yet secretive and rather obviously untruthful about her past. At first as a game, Juniper and her friend Alison try to ferret out the truth; that they eventually succeed is due partly to coincidence but also, to a believable degree, to their intelligence and persistence. The story takes a while to pick up momentum, but Newbery Honor winner McGraw does a fine job of establishing her characters, especially Juniper--nice, uncomfortable with snooping, but ever-more concerned about what Kelsey is concealing--and Kelsey herself, whose fears and odd behavior never outweigh her evident good qualities. The pace accelerates after a woman at a mall seems to recognize Preston and--prompted by friend Pete--the girls begin to imagine the many reasons Kelsey might be in hiding. The entirely plausible truth will surprise most readers as much as it does Juniper; and the sensible, loving way she helps her family reestablish itself makes a satisfying end to this unusually well-constructed mystery/family story. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-689-50573-6
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: McElderry
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1993


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