Everyone in this sequel to Tangle of Knots (2013) gets a chance to be the main character, at least for a page or two.
Almost everybody at Camp Atropos for Singular Talents has a magical ability, and some of them are embarrassing. Ellie and Chuck are black identical twins, and they both share the ability to identify frogs. White Lily has a more impressive Talent; she can whisk objects through the air with her mind, but it’s a skill that put her brother in the infirmary when she lost control. Each of the characters is the focus of the story for a little while, but four characters (three campers and the director) get extra attention. Their names alternate as the book’s chapter titles—“Lily,” “Jo,” “Renny,” “Chuck”—which serves as a sort of score card. With so many storylines, it would be nearly impossible, otherwise, to remember which character was which. But some stories are memorable just because they’re so deeply sad. The camp director writes letters to her sister: “Please come. I want nothing more than to be a family again.” This is a more frenetic story than its predecessor, and some readers may lose patience. Other readers will love the inventiveness—and the sadness—of every storyline.
Kids may have to read the book a second time to follow the plot, but this is a novel that rewards a second—or even a third—reading. (Fantasy. 8-12)