Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 12
- Grade: 3 to 7
A wannabe journalist and reluctant astrologer turns out to be clairvoyant in this charming middle-grade coming-of-age novel; for fans of Rebecca Stead's novels.
Clara can't believe her no-nonsense grandmother has just up and moved to Florida, leaving Clara and her mother on their own for the first time. This means her mother can finally "follow her bliss," which involves moving to a tiny apartment in Kensington Market, working at a herbal remedy shop and trying to develop her so-called mystical powers. Clara tries to make the best of a bad situation by joining the newspaper staff at her new middle school, where she can sharpen her investigative journalistic skills and tell the kind of hard-news stories her grandmother appreciated. But the editor relegates her to boring news stories and worse . . . the horoscopes.
Worse yet, her horoscopes come true, and soon everyone at school is talking about Clara Voyant, the talented fortune-teller. Clara is horrified -- horoscopes and clairvoyance aren't real, she insists, just like her grandmother always told her. But when a mystery unfolds at school, she finds herself in a strange situation: having an opportunity to prove herself as an investigative journalist . . . with the help of her own mystical powers.
About the author
RACHELLE DELANEY lives in Vancouver, BC, where she works as a freelance writer, editor and creative writing teacher. The Lost Souls Of Island X is the follow-up to her first novel, The Ship Of Lost Souls, which won the Canadian Authors Association/BookLand Press Emerging Writer Award and was shortlisted for the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize, the Chocolate Lily Book Award and the Red Cedar Book Award. Visit her online at www.rachelledelaney.com.
- Nominated, Chocolate Lily Award
- Short-listed, Diamond Willow Award
- Short-listed, Red Cedar Book Award
Excerpt: Clara Voyant (by (author) Rachelle Delaney)
Clara Costa had only been at Kensington Middle School for a month, but already she understood the implications of a Blazer Day. All the Newsies did. When Wesley Ferris, editor-in-chief of the Kensington Middle School Gazette, showed up to school wearing a blazer, she meant business.
So when the last bell rang on Tuesday afternoon, Clara was ready. She’d been watching the clock tick steadily toward 3:15 all through math class. The second it hit, she slammed her textbook shut, hopped out of her desk, and beelined for her meeting.
Unfortunately, it was hard to get anywhere fast at Kensington Middle School, or KMS as the students called it. KMS was enormous—easily three times the size of High Park Public, where Clara had gone to elementary school—and jam-packed with what felt like three hundred times as many kids (though it was probably closer to ten).
They surrounded her in the hallway, sweeping her along with them as they surged toward their lockers, laughing and shouting.
“Excuse me.” She tried to push her way across the hall. “Um, can I get through? I’ve got to—”
A basketball sailed over her head and smacked the wall. Some kids gasped. Others guffawed.
“Watch it,” someone warned. “She’s around here somewhere.”
Everyone paused to glance over their shoulders, including Clara. But Mrs. Major, the KMS custodian, was nowhere in sight. Relieved, she continued on, picking up the pace but being careful not to break into a run. Mrs. Major’s Number One Rule—even more important than No Throwing Basketballs—was No Running in the Halls. And Mrs. Major was not to be disobeyed. Mrs. Major was even more intimidating than Wesley Ferris in a blazer.
"Clara Voyant is such a supremely entertaining and smart read, with a fantastic group of characters to round it out . . . Readers who have enjoyed the work of authors such as Susin Nielsen, Lisa Graff, Kat Yeh, Vikki Vansickle, or Karina Yan Glaser might especially love Clara Voyant.” --Fab Book Reviews
"Clara is an utterly likable character and readers will root for her. A solid purchase for larger collections, especially where readers enjoy a touch of the supernatural in their mysteries." --School Library Journal
"[I]t’s dry, succinct, and funny. . . . [An] enjoyable read." --Kirkus Reviews
"The great cover will draw in readers, but they’ll find plenty to like and even ponder once inside." --Booklist
“Delaney’s book has multiple fun-to-follow storylines, from the mystery surrounding the Miss Trunchbull-like janitor to the romance between Kensington’s taco slinger, Paquito, and ice cream scooper, Sophie. But it’s the loving way in which all these characters are drawn and the intimate scenes between a mystic mother and a skeptic daughter that makes this novel so affecting." –Quill & Quire
"Clara Voyant is a delightful work of young-adult fiction, especially for those who are looking for something lighthearted and free of angst. . . . Rachelle Delaney creates a relatable middle-school experience that will speak to young people in times of transition, or who might not feel completely comfortable in their own skin. Highly Recommended." --CM Magazine