A spunky fourth-grade seer fears her upcoming birthday will be a disaster.
Krystal Ball, who “may look small” but is “really a medium,” has premonitions, especially predictive dreams. A hazy vision gives her a bad feeling about her upcoming birthday party, but it is too vague for her to interpret. And she has much practice in interpretation, as the majority of her psychic powers manifest through highly metaphorical, wild dreams—the first of which features spiked-haired, chain-wearing Martians later revealed to refer to punk fans of a band, Army of Ares, that Krystal and her family encounter on their way to visit her tarot card–wielding grandmother. Readers will enjoy trying to guess what the dreams mean. Finally, disaster strikes: Plumbing problems from the apartment above Krystal’s home cause part of her living room’s ceiling to collapse, and the damage can’t be fixed in time for it to host her party. Of course, everything turns out OK in the end but not until Krystal forgives her upstairs neighbor and has another dream. Krystal’s first-person voice is occasionally didactic, but it fits her personality well enough not to be intrusive. She walks a careful balance between being confident enough to embrace her own offbeat style and being concerned that others might think she’s weird.
Great for kids who want a pinch of magic in their slice-of-life stories. (horoscopes by Krystal Ball, Krystal’s fortune game) (Fantasy. 6-10)