Author: Kephart, Beth
If eleven-year-old Sara and her brother Hawk can complete a task involving the reclusive author renting out the silo on their farm for the summer, they will receive reward money that will pay for Sara's life-saving surgery.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 510724
Kirkus Reviews (12/15/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/15/2020 *Starred Review* Sara is a wordsmith. Although she's overly tall, has a weak heart, and has poor sight (all due to a condition called Marfan syndrome), she's sensitive to the world around her. She's especially loyal to her brother, Hawk, and his belief that the mysterious Mister renting their parents' renovated silo/guesthouse holds the key to some sort of good fortune. It's a fortune the Scholl family needs because, as Sara notes, Farms are full of losing. Fruit to flies, seeds to breeze, chicks to coons, fences to time, crops to drought. Hard times are compounded when the hay barn burns down after the family gets the news that Sara needs an expensive operation—and soon. Then Hawk learns that an editor is desperately trying to reach the Mister, even offering a reward to deliver a letter to him. Despite their parents' warning about the Mister's privacy, Hawk and Sarah start digging into his identity. As the siblings' snooping puts the Mister in a new light, they journey to New York City to plead his case for artistic freedom as the author of a well-known series awaiting a sequel. Further plot twists lead to an unexpected ending, which readers who love good storytelling and spirited heroines will find satisfying. National Book Award nominee Kephart's latest is ultimately as refreshing as rainfall on a dry field. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2020 Gr 5–8—Twelve-year-old Sara and her brother, Hawk, live on a farm in rural Pennsylvania that is experiencing a drought. In order to earn extra income, Sara's parents renovate an old corn silo into a living space, and their first tenant arrives with an air of mystery. Sara and Hawk call him The Mister and watch his every move while helping their parents run the farm. They soon learn that The Mister is a world-famous author and illustrator of a best-selling children's book series—who is fighting with his publishing company. As new fans of his work, Sara and Hawk are invested in advocating for him even if it means they are inviting a world of trouble. But Sara's world is already full of trouble. Not only is her family worried about their farm, they are also terrified about her deteriorating health. She needs surgery on her heart, which has been weakened due to Marfan syndrome. The surgery is expensive, the doctors who are up to the task are out of state, and time is not on their side. With the uncertainty of Sara's surgery hanging over their heads, the siblings journey to New York City to save the ending of The Mister's book series, which may just end up saving Sara's life too. With exquisite language, the author vividly conveys the beauty of a family farm full of life. Dialogue is spare, which fuels the narrative's emotional arcs and imbues each character's purpose with urgency. VERDICT Readers will be drawn into the lush descriptions of setting and moved by the characters' devotion to their passions whether they be land, art, or one another. Highly recommended purchase for school and public library collections of all sizes.—Samantha Lumetta, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.