COPPER by Rebecca Lisle


Age Range: 10 - 12
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Lisle wastes an appealing cast in this clumsy, contrived tale of a confused but resolute child who tracks down and reunites her forcibly separated parents—while also reuniting a mother with a child thought dead, stopping a war, rescuing captured wolves, and more. Copper Beech, 10, has always believed herself abandoned, until suddenly dispatched to the far-off Marble Mountains, where she finds herself caught between her father’s extended family of woodworkers, living inside a huge tree, and cave-dwelling Rockers, hostile relatives on her mother’s side who insist that they’ve been cheated out of a shipment of gold. Despite the author’s overuse of the “evasive answer” trick, Copper soon discovers that her father is hiding in an upper story of the tree, and her mother has magically sealed herself inside the mountain to escape a captor/suitor. Amid a welter of good hunches, telegraphed revelations, cliffhangers both figurative and literal, and convenient magic, Copper takes care of business—all without much fuss, danger, or suspense. Like the misshapen knitting that she compulsively produces, this never weaves itself into a finished whole, despite some enjoyable, even ingenious, elements. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-399-24211-2
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2004