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McKay, Hilary.
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2002
IL 3-6, RL 6.5
ISBN 0689849338

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Have you ever met a family where kids' names could make up a rainbow?  Well, you're about to.  Bill and Eve Casson, both artists, are the parents of Caddy (for Cadmium, the eldest), Saffy (for Saffron), Indigo (a boy) and Rose.  Their lives are as colorful as their names and as creative as their parents.  For example, Caddy's years of driving lessons with an instructor who invents a girlfriend to keep Caddy at a distance; Indigo's bedroom window sill sessions as an aspiring polar explorer hoping to cure his vertigo; Rose's exotic artwork with the contents of the refrigerator; and Saffy's unusual friendship with Sarah, a girl in a wheelchair.  One day, Saffy accidentally discovers that she is adopted.  She actually is the daughter of Eve's twin sister, who died in a car crash in Sienna, Italy when Saffy was three years old.  Grandfather brought Saffy from Italy to the Cassons in Great Britain, where they adopted her.  Grandfather dies and leaves something for each of the children.  Caddy receives his dilapidated cottage on a cliff in Wales.  Indigo gets his aged Bentley automobile (in unusable condition), and Rose gets his remaining cash of 44 pounds.  Attached to the back of the Will by a rusty pin is a note written in scrawly black.  It read, "For Saffron, her angel in the garden."  Thus begins Saffy's quest for her angel.  In a hilarious, joyful, and sometimes painful quest, she discovers treasures about herself and treasures about the love of family.  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee)

Booktalk #2

Saffy searched the color wheel in the kitchen for her name.  It must be there.  After all, all the children were named for a color on the wheel.  That's part of being born in a household of artists, I guess.  But, Saffron was not listed on the wheel.  When she asked her mother, she got an evasive answer.  But little by little, the story came out.  Saffron was adopted!  She just didn't remember.  Her mother was the twin sister of Eve who had raised her.  Things changed for Saffy after that.  She no longer felt part of the family.  She knew that she was different.  Maybe she just didn't belong.  The only thing she had that hadn't changed was her grandfather.  He was still her grandfather even though he had been quite out of it for some time.  When he dies, he leaves a will.  In it, he leaves Saffy her stone angel.  Not knowing what that was, Saffy and her friend Sarah go on a journey to find Saffy's angel.  There are many humorous moments in this story as Saffy's eccentric family go through their days.  (Read p. 18+ about Caddy's driving lesson)

SUBJECTS:     Family life -- Fiction.
                        Brothers and sisters -- Fiction.
                        Artists -- Fiction.
                        Adoption -- Fiction.
                        England -- Fiction.


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