THE GOLD DUST LETTERS by Janet Taylor Lisle


Age Range: 8 - 10
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 Proclaimed as Investigators of the Unknown: Book One, this accessible offering combines earmarks of a popular series--three neatly individualized girls in a lightly mysterious adventure in which magic may be involved--with Lisle's own delicate wit, care for language, and interest in the connections between painful reality and fantasy with the power to heal. Among these girls, Georgina is the organizer and skeptic; Poco has conversations with animals in which the others don't quite disbelieve; and, center stage, Angela is exchanging letters with ``the Faerie Pilaria,'' glimpsed by the others at a sleepover as evanescently whirling light. It turns out that the faerie is actually Angela's curiously distant father, poignantly attempting a connection with his daughter and with his own almost forgotten childhood. Even given Dad's coldly realistic relationship with Angela's nice mother--they bring out the worst in each other and are about to divorce--the contrast between his gruff exterior and imaginative secret behavior is only just plausible enough to sustain Lisle's ingenious plot. Still, the fact that he's not responsible for the gold dust that falls mysteriously from his letters hints that there was some magic--an intriguing possibility for readers who anticipate the next appearance of these lively and likable friends. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-531-06830-7
Page count: 116pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1994


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