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Image: Four moon gifRoc (Paperback), ISBN 045145633
The years between 12 and 19 do not pass easily. Some children mature gracefully from child to adult. Others need to be dragged in kicking and screaming through the process. Jennifer Gluckstein definitely falls into the latter category.

Book: Peter S Beagle, Tasmin The spoiled and rebellious daughter of divorced parents, Jenny suddenly finds herself moving to England to live with her mother and a new extended family in rural Dorset. For a New York City kid, this can be compared to being stranded on the moon. Instead of the hustle and bustle of big city traffic and stores conveniently located on every corner, Jenny must contend with a dilapidated, rambling old house, lots of farmland and other things. Things with red eyes that hide in her closet or under her bed and chirp nasty little whispery giggles just as she's trying to fall asleep.

The things don't only hide under her bed. They also infest the rest of the house and roam around outside. Pookas, oakmen, boggarts -- New York never sported anything like this. Jenny doesn't know whether to be glad or add it to the pile of personal grievances that she hugs to her chest daily. But Stourhead Farm hides another secret -- a secret that will change Jenny's life.

Book: Peter S beagle, A dance for emilia The elusive scent of vanilla and a ghostly Persian cat lead Jenny to a small hidden room on the top floor of the farmhouse. There Jenny meets Tamsin Willoughby, youngest daughter of the original builder of Stourhead Farm. Tamsin's spirit, trapped within the confines of the farm, longs for her -- and another's -- freedom.

Nothing in Jenny's 13 years prepared her for Tamsin… or for the Other One who stalks Tamsin. Soon Jenny must decide whether or not she's brave enough to help Tamsin find her lost love, or stand aside and let evil claim her new-found friend.

Beagle creates a moody, spoiled, opinionated 13-year-old, and makes us believe in and care for her. Jenny, Tamsin, even the Pooka in all of its incarnations, become startlingly, heartwrenchingly alive to the reader. Under Beagle's masterful hand, the mix of 1999 slingo, jaw-creaking ancient Dorset speak, courtly Jacobean English -- and the history that binds them -- blend into what can only be described as a work of art.

If you like ghost stories, if you like tales of boggles and boggarts and things that live just beyond our ken, then Tamsin will satisfy you completely. But be warned, Beagle's characters will stay in your heart forever, and he possesses the damnedest ability to make one cry by the end of the book. What reader can ask for more?

Teri Smith

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