Flamingnet Student Book Reviewer MNo2
Thirteen year old Leah Ward has been having a great school
year, getting ready for a school dance and practicing for
her upcoming baseball games. Then one day her mother asks
Leah to come with her to the Shady Springs old folks home
to help pass out food baskets. Leah makes up every excuse
possible, but her mother forces her to go or else she will
be grounded. Once they get to Shady Springs Leah is very
agitated, and refuses to even talk to any of the old
people living at Shady Springs. When they come down to the
last room occupied by a mysterious old lady named Mrs.
Hubbard, who claims to be a gypsy, Leah is left by herself
to deliver the basket. Once inside the dark room she is
given a strange crystal swan by Mrs. Hubbard. Now, ever
since Leah has taken possession of the crystal swan,
strange things have been happening to her and she must get
to the bottom of this bizarre mystery.
I have to say I
didn't like this book at all. I got it knowing that it was
for ages 9-12, but thinking that it might be okay for a 14
year old to read. It lacked a lot of details and you
couldn't get the feel of any of the characters I might
recommend this book to younger kids.
Reviewer City, State and Country: , New Mexico USA
Flamingnet Student Book Reviewer TKono
"The Crystal Swan" by Suzan Tanner McCoury is an
appropriate novel for young readers. The plot revolves
around thirteen-year-old Leah. Leah goes to a nursing
homes against her wishes to help out her mother
volunteer. Not fond of elderly persons, Leah's sour
disposition is clear to those at the nursing home.
Speaking to the elderly, Leah is very incorrigible.
Before she finally leaves, one older woman gives her a
crystal swan. Shortly thereafter, the girl has
disturbing "episodes," which are really flashbacks of
elderly people of when they were young. Convinced Leah is
mentally unstable, her mother brings her to a
psychiatrist. At the conclusion of the novel, Leah
discovers the mystery of the swan, and her mother is
convinced of her sanity in a plot-twisting ending.
What's great about this novel is that it revolves around
young teenagers and teenage issues while not at all
bordering on inappropriateness or vulgarity. Leah and her
friends, like all girls that age, are a bit boy-crazy.
However, the extent of the romance is a hug and giggling.
Additionally, there is an air of mysteriousness that is
not too scary for the reader. Young ones will get excited
about the events without being too horrified to keep
turning the pages. Overall, this book is a quick read and
great segway into chapter books for young readers that
want a suspenseful glimpse into teenage life.
Reviewer City, State and Country:Staten Island,