July 10, 2006

Around the World In...

There are people on earth with whom we become simply incredible. When we are with them, the fairy dust drifts off of them and shimmers onto us, and we believe we can do anything, be anyone. 17-year-old Ginny Blackstone's Aunt Peg was her magic maker, a woman in whose presence she shone. But now irrational, irresistible Peg is gone for good, and Ginny has to find out if she can bring magic to life on her own.

Peg's still helping, though. She's given Ginny 13 Little Blue Envelopes full of places to go and people to meet, from New York City to Edinburgh, to Amsterdam to Paris. But Ginny finds that magic's not predictable. In life, nothing is. Maybe that's the best lesson Aunt Peg could ever have taught her.

The cover might put you off a bit, but this is a fun and thoughtful trip through Europe and the Mediterranean with many of the dangers lessened and the bad smells diluted with charm. It struck me as a little unbelievable that Aunt Peg's envelopes made Ginny's parents surrender their daughter, as the instructions she left included the directive for her niece not to communicate with the U.S.! Apparently, this is a measure of a mother's trust in her despaired of, flaky 'artiste' sister, and one last thing she could do for her now that she was gone.

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