Age Range: 9 - 12
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Carolina’s life is not a perfect one, but she’s content. She, mother Melanie, and baby sister Trinity go from place to place in the old school bus that Melanie transformed into a home of sorts, with beds and a table and chairs—and no electricity or water, of course. They stop wherever there are opportunities for Melanie to find enough work to pay for food and other necessities; this time, they have taken up residence in a field above the ocean, where Carolina rescues an infant crow and it becomes her fast and only friend. She meets wheelchair-bound Stefan, whose father owns the field on which Carolina’s family is squatting. She and Stefan hit it off, and he introduces her to his mother, who takes an understandable interest in her; her own daughter, Heather, died. When Melanie decides to move to Oregon, Carolina stays behind with Crow, living with Stefan’s family. It’s inevitable that Carolina will change her mind—Melanie is a loving mother and Stefan’s mother has several issues to work out—but Hobbs (Get It While It’s Hot. Or Not., 1996, etc.) handles the path of Carolina’s reasoning well. It’s an unusual story, with interesting characters and a strong plot, and it’s fair to say that Crow steals the show, teaching Carolina how to accept change and to fly in spite of it. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 19th, 1999
ISBN: 0-374-31153-6
Page count: 138pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1999