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*Lily Dale: Awakening* by Wendy Corsi Staub- young adult book review
 
Lily Dale: Awakening
by Wendy Corsi Staub
Ages 12+ 240 pages Walker Books August 2007 Hardcover    

When Calla's mother dies unexpectedly, it throws the Delaney family into turmoil. Calla's father had taken a sabbatical and accepted a two-semester position in California. They had reservations for the family to spend the last two weeks of the summer out West. Calla and her mom were to fly out and then return to Florida - Calla to her senior year of high school, and her mother to her job at a bank. That option becomes too extravagant for the now single-income family, and Calla's father is scrambling to find a residence in California that will accommodate both himself and Calla for the school year.

Calla offers to spend the rest of the summer, three weeks, with her grandmother, Odelia, in Lily Dale, New York. Calla does not know Odelia well, since her mother and grandmother had a falling out when Calla was very young. She knows nothing of Lily Dale.

Disheartened by how rural the surroundings are, Calla does not notice the sign above the wrought-iron entrance to Lily Dale that reads: "Lily Dale Assembly...World's Largest Center for the Religion of Spiritualism." She is embarrassed as she comes to realize that not only is she living in a community of psychics, but her grandmother is a practicing medium. Not that Calla believes any of this fortune-telling stuff; to her it is all bunk.

She's shocked when she begins to have unexplainable experiences, and she keeps them from the grandmother. It takes a number of these incidents before Calla catches on and opens to the possibilities, and it is only after a spirit provides Calla with clues to find a missing child that she accepts she has inherited her grandmother's psychic ability.

Staubís depiction of the Lily Dale community is quite accurate, and she does not tie up all the loose ends of the story, leaving plenty of room for sequels.

Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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