4.4 44
by Cathy Cassidy

View All Available Formats & Editions

I'll be different, I won't break the rules . . . I promise' Scarlett has got herself in trouble so often, her Mum no longer believes her promises. Sent off to stay with Dad, the message is behave or else! Can Scarlett mend her ways, or will she die of boredom? Perhaps gorgeous and mysterious local boy Kian can supply some of the answers . . .See more details below


I'll be different, I won't break the rules . . . I promise' Scarlett has got herself in trouble so often, her Mum no longer believes her promises. Sent off to stay with Dad, the message is behave or else! Can Scarlett mend her ways, or will she die of boredom? Perhaps gorgeous and mysterious local boy Kian can supply some of the answers . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rebellious Scarlett still has not gotten over her father's cheating and her parents' divorce. When she gets thrown out of yet another school, her mother sends her from London to the Irish countryside to live with her father, his pregnant wife and her stepmother's nine-year-old daughter. Scarlett begs her mother, "Don't make me do it," but in her new home, she finds space-both from her family and in the enchanting surroundings-to start letting go of her anger. She also makes a connection with a mysterious boy, Kian, whom she meets by the lough, riding bareback. Kian tells her about a wishing tree, where people "leave offerings, ask for favors." Cassidy (Indigo Blue) weaves in some lovely images, such as Scarlett's ripping up her old red clothes as ribbons to tie all over the wishing tree for her new baby sister. Readers will appreciate that her biological parents are flawed people. When Scarlett injures her stepsister trying to pierce her nose, her father yells, "What were you trying to do? Make her into-into-a freak? Like you?" The only jarring bit here is Scarlett's age; at 12, she seems young for the relationship she develops with Kian, which includes intense conversation and a night spent out by the lough. Readers will be captivated by the wise, wild Kian, though, who disappears when others are around; he adds to the magic that cloaks Scarlett's story. Ages 9-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Anita Barnes Lowen
Scarlett's behavior has gone from bad to worse. She has been enrolled in five schools in two years and expelled from every one. She has been sent to live with her Nan and then with her Uncle Jon, and both have sent her packing. According to her mother, Scarlett is an out-of-control, selfish, destructive little troublemaker. Now (like it or not) Scarlett is to be shipped off to Ireland to live with her father and his new wife. Almost before she knows what has happened, Scarlett finds herself in the middle of nowhere, attending a one room school and sharing a bedroom with an unwanted stepsister. Is it possible for Scarlett to accept the turn her life has taken, to become part of a new family, to find new friends? Maybe the easiest thing to do is run away. But then Scarlett meets Kian, the mysterious boy with a horse named Midnight, who helps her understand that even when you have made a possibly unforgivable mistake, running away would be the biggest mistake of all. A touching and heartwarming story that girls will find hard to put down.
VOYA - Dotsy Harland
It has been two years since twelve-year-old Scarlett's father left her and her mother to marry another woman, and Scarlett is still furious with him. She has been expelled from five schools since her dad left, tried living with two relatives besides her mom, dyed her hair "tomato red," and pierced her tongue. Scarlett's mother, who is trying to hold down a job, is at her wits' end. Finally she does the unforgivable by sending Scarlett away from London to live with her dad and his new family in rural Ireland. Sulky Scarlett cannot believe her misfortune. Now she has to put up with an annoying younger stepsister who idolizes her, a pregnant stepmother who is trying to win her over, and her goofy dad-the person she blames most for her predicament. While skipping her first day of school, Scarlett meets and falls for Kian, a mysterious runaway "gypsy" boy, wise beyond his years. The two begin to meet secretly by the nearby lake to confide in one another. As Kian helps Scarlett achieve a fresh outlook on her situation and a new appreciation for those who are reaching out to her, Scarlett's anger dissipates and she allows herself to respond to her family with love. Cassidy, author of Dizzy (Viking, 2005/VOYA February 2005), again creates a delightful cast of characters in feisty but sensitive Scarlett, her businesslike yet tender mother, and her wacky but charming "new family." Scarlett's bittersweet romance with Kian will leave female readers teary-eyed and hoping for a sequel.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Since her parents' divorce two years ago, Scarlett Flynn has been kicked out of five schools. After she ignites a food "demonstration" in the cafeteria, her mother has had enough. With her pierced tongue, black fingernails, and dyed tomato-soup-red hair, the 12-year-old is unwillingly sent from London to live with her father and his new family in Ireland. Aghast at her new school and new home in rural Connemara, Scarlett is angry. Her outlet is the lough where she meets mysterious gypsy boy Kian and his horse, Midnight. He allows her to express herself and provides the escape and friendship she needs. Her nine-year-old stepsister also sneaks her way into Scarlett's heart, helping her to adjust. As she grows more penitent about her behavior, she makes the effort to change and becomes an important player in the family. Infused with a bit of fairy-tale magic, this is a fast-paced yet thoughtful story. The heroine is feisty and troublesome, yet quirky and lovable. Her feelings are justified, and readers will sympathize with her. The character develops tremendously as her anger ebbs and flows, transforming into sincere love and acceptance. Cassidy has written a poignant and strong story about love, forgiveness, and resilience.-Jennifer Cogan, Bucks County Free Library, Doylestown, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Twelve-year-old Scarlett has been expelled from school one time too many following her parents' divorce, so her mother sends her to live with her father, who she hates. He left her and her Mum in England while he ran off to Ireland to live with Claire and her nine-year-old daughter Holly. This fast-paced story follows Scarlett's difficult adjustment to her new surroundings and family (which will soon include a new baby) as she rebels in typical teenage fashion by piercing her tongue, dying her hair red and being an obstinate vegetarian. Set in the rural countryside of Kilimoor, near Lough Choill, which boasts the magical Wishing Tree, Scarlett soon meets Kian, a boy of her own age, and his horse Midnight. He's the only one she doesn't feel the need to battle with her anger and bitterness. Perhaps he also has his own demons? This blend of teen angst and the magical will most definitely appeal to middle-school girls. (Fiction. 11-15)

Read More

Product Details

Penguin UK
Publication date:
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Related Subjects

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >