At night, 13-year-old Siena has dreams about a house overlooking the ocean, as well as wartime imagery including plane crashes and sinking ships; scarier still, visions of the past are bleeding into Siena's waking life. As a result, Siena has alienated her friends and taken to collecting abandoned objects. Meanwhile, Siena's three-year-old brother, Lucca, hasn't spoken in a year and a half, and her parents move the family from Brooklyn to Maine (into a house that resembles the one from Siena's dreams) in hopes that both children's behavior will return to normal. But the grand old house on Ocean Drive feels haunted, and although Siena makes new friends, her attention is drawn back to her worries and the discovery that her visions and dreams are tied to Sarah, a girl who lived in the house during WWII. Questions of how Sarah is connected to Siena and whether Lucca will speak again swirl throughout this insightful, delicate tale. LaFleur (Eight Keys) offers an enticing blend of history, mystery, and family, perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me. Ages 8-12. Agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (Aug.)[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC
Gr 5-8--Thirteen-year-old Siena moves from New York City to a Maine coastal town before the start of eighth grade. Unlike most teens, she doesn't mind the change. Her strange visions make it difficult to establish close friendships, and she's hoping a new school will allow her to shed her reputation as a weirdo. Like her parents, Siena also hopes the new environment will encourage her mute three-year-old brother to begin speaking again. Siena starts to uncover oddities about their new home: she sees and hears flashes from the past, and an old pen begins writing its own story. She becomes engrossed in discovering all she can about the house's former inhabitants, a family living there during World War II. Although her weirdness doesn't disappear, Siena is able to form friendships and even a budding romance as she continues to investigate the house's secrets. Her ability to see, interact with, and even alter the past eventually provides her with the insight to help her brother regain his desire to speak. Although Siena's propensity for strange visions has the potential to create a creepy, suspenseful mood, the plot, especially in the first half of the novel, is more deliberate than gripping. The introduction to World War II battlefield trauma lends an interesting historical aspect. Recommend this one to readers willing to stay with a slow beginning for a satisfying conclusion.--Lindsay Cesari, Baldwinsville School District, NY[Page 146]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.