THE LAST PIPER by Helen Cavanagh


Age Range: 8 - 12
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 The chilling and fascinating topic of reincarnation, recently treated in Penelope Farmer's Penelope (p. 373), is at the center of this story. On a trip to Scotland with his mother and sister, Christie, five-year-old Mikey begins talking about long ago, ``when I was bigger.'' He guides the family to Lauder Castle and says that he was Firth Lauder. When it turns out there really was a Firth Lauder, and Mikey continues to demonstrate knowledge of things outside his experience, Christie begins to believe that he is recalling a former life. In this enthralling novel, Cavanagh (Panther Glade, 1993, etc.) satisfyingly offers no ``rational'' explanation of Mikey's knowledge; there is no doubt that he is remembering a past life. The story revolves around finding the truth of what happened to him in the past--Firth was hanged for murder--in order to help him in the present. A vivid setting, interesting subplots, and complex characters--especially Christie, who tells the story--add up to a gripping tale. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-689-80481-4
Page count: 123pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1996