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Children's LiteratureThirteen-year-old Lizabeth is consumed with thoughts of winning the 1906 Strawberry Queen contest. One day Lizabeth finds out that her four-year-old sister, Tracy, has scarlet fever. Their house is placed under quarantine and Lizabeth moves in with her cousin's family. Every night Lizabeth sneaks into her family's house to check on Tracy. Once exposed to scarlet fever, Lizabeth decides not to return to her cousin's cottage. Instead, she wanders around and winds up at a dilapidated shack that belongs to the town's outcast, Crazy Mary. Lizabeth's priorities change after she spends a short amount of time in Crazy Mary's world. Later that day, Lizabeth sneaks into Tracy's bedroom and is at her sister's bedside when she passes away. This third title in the series "The Girls of Lighthouse Lane" teaches the reader to appreciate every moment with family and friends. An interesting and educational class assignment would be to ask students to compare the early 20th and 21st centuries. Authors Kinkade and Tamar pack this text with positive messages about faith, family, and friendship. 2005, Avon Books/HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 8 to 14.
—Mary Jo Edwards