Summary and book reviews of Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay

Saffy's Angel

By Hilary McKay

Saffy's Angel
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  • Hardcover: May 2002,
    160 pages.
    Paperback: Sep 2003,
    160 pages.

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About this Book

Book Summary

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

Chapter One

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 ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
School Library Journal - Allison Gray

Although humor is predominant, several characters experience significant growth. Delicious phrasing and a wonderfully descriptive style add further to the sense of British eccentricity, reminiscent of Helen Cresswell's Bagthorpe Saga. (Recommended Grade 4-6).

Publishers Weekly

The author blends a generous heaping of humor and joy with a dose of pain in a memorable portrait of a vastly human family. The only disappointment for readers may be that McKay's affecting conclusion arrives too soon. (Recommended Age 8-12).

Kirkus Reviews

While not as distinctive as The Exiles and Dog Friday, this is nevertheless an enjoyable outing characterized by a spirit of warmth and humor. (Recommended Age 9-13).

Booklist - Gillian Engberg

Starred Review. Like the Casson household itself, the plot is a chaotic whirl that careens off in several directions simultaneously. But McKay always skillfully draws each clearly defined character back into the story with witty, well-edited details; rapid dialogue; and fine pacing. (Recommended Grades 4-7).

Reader Reviews
anoymous123

Saffy's Angel
I think this book is very lively and i really really enjoy it. I will recommend this book to my friends to read. The characters are very unique and I liked Sarah as she's a bold and caring person, which reminds me of a best friend.

Nana

saffy's angel
Its a great book.The thought is amazing.The suspense is spine tingling.The story is heart moving. It's a wonderful tale of an older sister with no hope of passing, a mother who is barely there, a boy trying to face his fears, a little girl making art...   Read More

rene

saffy's angel
I think the book is very good. Ii will read it again. I think that every one should read it.

Caroline

Saffy's Angel
I've only gotten to the fifth chapter, and so far I'm not very entertained. It has meaning and it's nice, but there's no humor, and nothing has really happened except that the grandad died. I'm not really enjoying it that much. Hopefully it gets ...   Read More

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