Hellisen, Cat Beastkeeper, 197 pgs. Henry Holt and Company, 2015. $16.99. Language G; Mature Content: PG; Violence PG.
Sarah is a loner. Her only family consists of her parents and herself and they move frequently, so she has no friends. One day her mother walks out, leaving Sarah and her father behind. Sarah’s father begins acting strangely and drops Sarah off with a grandmother she never knew she had. Sarah must navigate the strangeness of her new environment if she is to fight a curse that has affected her family and possibly herself before it is too late.
Cat Hellisen is a word artist. Her descriptions of Sarah’s life and the world she is thrust into are beautifully written. Sarah is a plucky 7th grader who faces abandonment and cruelty like the kind found in dark fairytales. The prose and plot kept me going, though you’ll have to decide for yourself what you think of the ending,
EL/MS-ADVISABLE. Michelle in the Middle