A compelling story rife with drama, suspense and heart.
Twelve-year-old Ember Goforth-Shook is not the most popular or pretty girl in school, and it is obvious that the community doesn’t understand or respect her family’s religion, which her mom describes as “Not Quite Wicca.” But things are not so bad, really, at least until a raging fire destroys the family’s trailer in less than an hour. Everyone escapes except Ember’s dog, Widdershins. What’s worse, Ember suspects that her very best, and only, friend Anson had something to do with the fire. Ember’s family moves to a campground, where they scrounge every day for enough money to pay for their next night’s site rent and enough food to get by on. Having lost their tailoring and tarot-card businesses, Ember’s parents try desperately to find some work, but it isn’t easy when you have no decent clothes and no phone number or permanent address. For her part, Ember concentrates on taking care of little sister Ivy and making it back to the scene of the fire every Wednesday, poking around in the ashes and working on a revenge spell for Anson, a spell she’s less certain she wants to follow through on with each passing week. Dooley puts readers directly into the center of Ember’s plight with a heartfelt first-person narration.
An enthralling tale that demystifies Wicca, humanizes homeless families and inspires reflection on friendship, forgiveness and moving forward. (Fiction. 10-14)