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list price: $10.95
edition:Paperback
published: Sep 2005
ISBN:9781894549516

Seraphina's Circle

A Young Adult Novel

by Jocelyn Shipley

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girls & women
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $10.95
edition:Paperback
published: Sep 2005
ISBN:9781894549516
Description

Almost thirteen, Morgan plans to spend her summer training for an all-star track meet, playing rep softball and hanging out with her cool new friend jade. Instead, she is stuck at her grandma's farm for the summer. She and her little cousin Dulcy are drawn to the mystical place they call Seraphina's Circle, under the protective branches of an ancient fir tree. With cornhusk dolls they begin to mingle past with present in re-enactments of events from previous generations. As they fall under the spell of the circle, the cousins become absorbed in the romantic story of Seraphina, their great-aunt who died tragically at a young age. When her older cousin Clare begins to rebel against her own parents' rules, Morgan begins to be afraid that history will repeat itself tragically in their own lives. In Seraphina's Circle, Shipley evokes with her usual skill and sensitivity the complexities of a young teen dealing with unusual challenges.

About the Author
Jocelyn Shipley has written several books for teens, including Impossible and Shatterproof. Her award-winning stories have been published in newspapers and anthologies, and her work has been translated into many languages. Jocelyn lives in Toronto, Ontario, and on Vancouver Island. For more information, visit www.jocelynshipley.com.
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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
11 to 14
Grade:
6 to 9

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Seraphina’s Circle

Banished to her grandmother’s farm for the summer, Morgan is furious with her mother. What kind of mother completely disregards her daughter’s wishes and decides that she should spend time in the country where she can work on her attitude and perhaps learn a thing or two from her older cousin Clare? Clare who is beautiful, kind, helpful and responsible... everything that Morgan believes that she is not!

It turns out that Clare may not be so perfect. Against her mother’s wishes, she has been seeing an older boy and she soon recruits Morgan to help them to arrange secret meetings. Uncomfortable about lying to the adults, Morgan soon begins to see eerie parallels between Clare’s present situation and the story of their greataunt Seraphina. When Clare becomes the victim of a horrific accident, Morgan and her family must pull together to deal with their grief, and to maybe let go of the hold that Seraphina’s story has had on them for so long.

In the character of Morgan, Shipley captures the topsy-turvy roller coaster ride of being nearly 13. Morgan is continually torn between the desire to be more mature and the impulse to hang on tight to the child within her. Her emotions seem to constantly flicker from one extreme to another: one minute she hates her mother, but with the next breath she misses her more than words can say; she feels too old to play childish games with her cousin Dulcy, but then finds herself looking forward to making dolls and playing with them in Seraphina’s Circle. It is a turbulent time in a young girl’s life, and that is aptly portrayed here. Unfortunately the story seems to introduce a wealth of questions that remain virtually unanswered at the story’s end and several plot lines are left dangling, yet the reader still is left with the sense that Morgan is beginning to achieve a sense of herself and her place in the world.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2007. Vol.30 No.1.

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