Those of you who have read Hilary McKay's earlier books, among which are The Exiles, Dog Friday, and Dolphin Luck, will happily welcome her new story, Saffy's Angel. Whether you have read her work or not, you have a special treat in store in Saffy's Angel.
You'll meet the four Casson children, whose mother, Eve, a fine-arts painter, has given them the names of paint colors. Cadmium, called Caddy, is the eldest; then comes Saffron, known as Saffy; Indigo, the only boy; and Rose, the youngest. When Saffy discovers quite by accident that she has been adopted, she is deeply upset, though the others assure her it makes no difference at all. Saffy is the daughter of Eve's twin sister, who lived in Siena, Italy, and died in a car crash. Grandad brought Saffy, as a very small child, back from Siena.
At Grandad's death, he leaves something to each of the children. To Saffy, it is "her angel," although no one knows its identity. How Saffy discovers what her angel is, with the help of an energetic new friend, lies at the heart of this enchanting story. Unforgettable characters come alive in often deeply humorous and always absorbing events to make a book to be treasured for a long, long time.
Recommended for Grades 4-6
When Saffron was eight, and had at last learned to read, she hunted slowly through the color chart pinned up on the kitchen wall.
It was a painter's color chart, from an artists' materials shop. It showed all the colors a painter could ever need. There were rows and rows of little squares, each a different shade of red or blue or green or golden yellow. Every little square had the name of the color underneath. To the Casson children those names were as familiar as nursery rhymes. Other families had lullabies, but the Cassons had fallen asleep to lists of colors.
Saffron found Indigo almost at once, a smoky dark blue on the bottom row of the chart. Indigo was two years younger than Saffron. His name suited him exactly.
"If there is one thing your mother was good at," Bill Casson, the children's father, would say, "it was choosing names for you children!"
Eve, the children's mother, would always look pleased. She never protested that there might be more ...
If you liked Saffy's Angel, try these:
Take one disarmingly engaging protagonist and put her in the company of a tenderly rendered canine, and you've got yourself a recipe for the best kind of down-home literary treat. Kate DiCamillo's voice in Because of Winn-Dixie should carry from the steamy, sultry pockets of Florida clear across the miles to enchant young readers everywhere...
Magic hovers just beneath the surface in this unusual and moving story about the bond between a boy and his grandfather.
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The Angel of Losses
"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist
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