BLUE MOUNTAIN TROUBLE by Martin Mordecai
Kirkus Star

BLUE MOUNTAIN TROUBLE

Age Range: 11 - 16
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Jackson and Pollyread are 11-year-old twins who live in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains. One morning on their way to school, they encounter a “duppy” spirit, which appears to them as a hazily outlined goat. Only the twins can see the duppy; others only see it as a cloud. The family has become preoccupied with the dangerous antics of Jammy, the local Rasta ne’er-do-well who is squatting on their land, Mama’s mysterious illness and the twins’ very different results from the Common Entrance exams. Although extraneous details occasionally threaten to bog down the narrative, Mordecai’s balance of the ordinary and the supernatural is Virginia Hamilton–esque in its delicacy. Jackson and Pollyread emerge as distinct and entirely likable individuals, their mutual affection and love for their parents both endearing and believable, as is their distress at the consequences of their exam results. Adding to the strengths of this tale are the colorful descriptions of the local setting and the artfully rendered dialect. A gorgeous snapshot of a locale and culture not seen enough in children’s books. (Fiction. 11-16)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-545-04156-0
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2009