Berry, Julie The Amaranth Enchantment, 306 p. Bloomsbury, 2009. $16.99. Content: G. Lucinda has been a virtual slave in her uncle and aunt’s jewelry shop since the night her parents left for a grand ball and never returned. Then one day a suspected witch with a wondrous gem walks into the shop and nothing will ever be the same again. Soon thereafter, a handsome young man appears and so do a sneaky thief and a goat named Dog. When the jewel disappears, Lucinda must make amends and put herself in danger in order to solve much more than a simple theft. Berry’s writing flows so smoothly that I was surprised to find myself at the end of the book; and I was surprised to find that she is a first time author. The book may feel like a light fairy tale or fantasy, but when the twists appear, and they will startle you when they do, they fit perfectly with what you should have been paying better attention to! I hope Berry has more ideas in her head, because she should become major competition for Shannon Hale! MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.