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School Library Journal
Gr 5-7- Portia Avatar, 12, lives in Palmville, CA, with her vegetarian mom, Indigo, and her cat. The novel covers five days, beginning with an earthquake at 3:47 a.m. Portia has created reasons that explain why her father has never been a part of her life and has given him an imaginary one. The earthquake shakes loose a photograph of him and a ring. Porti's preoccupation with her father is contrasted with her everyday experiences like checking out the effects of the earthquake, sending and receiving PDA messages to her friend Amy Clamdigger, helping right her mom's damaged health food restaurant, and doing community service. Porti's dreams and their interpretations are also included. Although the mystery of her father's absence is never solved, Portia does learn that she can rely on her mother's love and her community's support. Frequently the narrative is clever and chatty, but Portia tells readers so much about events, feelings, and other characters that it bogs down. This protagonist is lively and hip, but her story falters with the proliferation of details.-Kathryn Kosiorek, formerly at Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OHCopyright 2008 Reed Business Information.