Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 13 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 13 to 18
Rachel and her little sister, Jane, are spending the summer with two strangers who happen to be their grandparents. Up until their mom’s death a few months ago, Rachel didn’t know these people existed, and now she’s been packed off to the family ranch in the interior of British Columbia—a place with mountains, lakes, and zero cell service.
But her newfound family isn’t the only secret that’s been kept from her. Why did their mother leave her family so many years ago? Why does their grandpa stay hidden away in the basement, and what happened to their Uncle Jimmy? And the biggest question mark of all: who was the mysterious Stephanie?
Once Rachel shines a light into the ranch’s dark corners, nothing will ever be the same again.
About the author
Becky Citra is the author of over twenty books for children, ranging from early chapter books to novels for young adults. She was an elementary schoolteacher for over twenty-five years and began writing for children in 1995. Becky’s books have been shortlisted for and won many awards, including the Red Cedar Award, the Diamond Willow, the Silver Birch and the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize. She lives in Bridge Lake, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.beckycitra.com.
"[Becky Citra] measures out mysteries and revelations while chronicling a summer of discoveries—some tragic, even gruesome, but others that give Rachel whole new visions of her mother, her family, and of her own life... Readers, particularly those able to catch subtle cues and read between lines, will understand how events and insights gradually transform her vision of the future. An unexpectedly buoyant tale of loss and healing."
"Combines elements of mystery, romance and adventure… Citra has plenty of details making her setting authentic as Rachel learns to ride, hears coyotes howl and explores a beaver pond with a sinister surprise."
Winnipeg Free Press
“Rachel Bird is a beautifully written multi-layered story... Its short chapters propel the story forward and will keep even reluctant readers engaged right to the end. This is a perfect summer read set against the backdrop of the remote and beautiful interior of British Columbia.”
Quill & Quire