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Eliza Bluebell. Written by A.J. York. Illustrated by Gavin Childs
This middle grade story is quite enchanting in it's ability to keep certain details a secret while not causing the reader to feel left out of what is really going on. This is because, even though Eliza and her Shadow are the main characters here, other characters are put on display with interest fetching effect, that help the story to run along in a smooth, still transparent way. Eliza moves into a new town, and, as is the case with most ficticous small towns, everyone is immediately all up in her business. While it doesn't take long for her "business" to be everyone else's, there is still an air of mystery surrounding her and what her shadow is all about. While I was still left with several questions about the separate personality of her shadow, only out of sheer inquisitiveness. I came to the general conclusion that her shadow is for the most part a do-gooding force that helps Eliza add enchantment and life wherever they may stop and hang their hat. This book carries the charm of some of my favorite TV shows that also feature small town life, such as The Walton's, The Andy Griffith Show, and Northrrn Exposure, to be specific. These are the kinds of towns and places where ordinary people become heroic, the uninteresting is made interesting, and life does not pass by without notice any longer after a new stranger comes visiting.