A 12-year-old orphan girl with extraordinary abilities is swept away by a strange mustachioed man claiming to be a distant relative. Does he also hold the secrets to her otherworldly past?
Ackerbee’s Home for Lost and Foundlings is the only home that Teresita “Tess” Mariana de Sousa has ever known. And a loving and safe home it’s been, especially for a girl who was left on its doorstep as an infant along with a secret object from another world. At age 4, Tess gained a pet tarantula named Violet, who keeps her tethered to the current reality. The tale incorporates an exploration of a tantalizing many-worlds theory, which considers that all possible versions of the universe might exist simultaneously, not to mention that multiple universes may fit together like a spider’s web. Ultimately, however, the story leads into experiences based on real-life events in Ireland during World War II. Fantasy readers will appreciate the foray into interdimensionality and multiple and alternate realities as well as the flecks of other fantasy and science-fiction influences that will feel familiar. The spunky protagonist appears to have light brown skin while other characters appear to be white.
A good old-fashioned engaging and inventive page-turner. (author’s note) (Fantasy. 8-12)