Turn the Cup Around

Turn the Cup Around

5.0 1
by Barbara Mariconda
     
 

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It's summertime in Maine, and 12-year-old Evie is ready to spend her vacation combing the seashore with her younger brothers at their grandmother's bed-and-breakfast. But instead, Evie discovers a secret cave along the rocky coast...and a mysterious wall, where paintings appear and vanish without warning. Uncovering the cave's mystery brings other memories to the

Overview

It's summertime in Maine, and 12-year-old Evie is ready to spend her vacation combing the seashore with her younger brothers at their grandmother's bed-and-breakfast. But instead, Evie discovers a secret cave along the rocky coast...and a mysterious wall, where paintings appear and vanish without warning. Uncovering the cave's mystery brings other memories to the surface: memories of her deceased mother and absent father—memories Evie has tried to suppress. A moving, evocative mystery, depicting a slice of life with vitality and warmth.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Relying heavily on thunderstorms, crashing waves and the protagonist's frequent exclamations of "Godfrey Mighty" for dramatic effect, this rather convoluted thriller set on the coast of Maine spreads itself thinly over too much ground. Twelve-year-old Evie's summer takes some unexpected turns after her artist grandmother, who dabbles in fortune-telling, predicts Evie will experience "change... or perhaps some new spin on an old tale." Administered with a warning to be careful, the prophecy coincides with Evie's nightmares about a giant bird and her growing curiosity about her father, who has been hospitalized for six years. The plot thickens when Evie discovers a recently painted image inside a hidden cave; next, the subject of the painting, a mysterious white cat, suddenly appears. While the story offers plenty of chilling events to keep pages turning, pieces of the puzzle appear to be forced together. Suspense is undercut by flat characterizations and the all too obvious planting of false leads. Mariconda's (Witch Way to the Beach) weaving of past and present tragedies is intricate, but her overall design leaves something to be desired. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8This novel of a young girl's efforts to sort out her tangled family history falls flat. Beautiful (if lengthy) descriptions of coastal Maine, where Evie and her two brothers live with their grandmother in her bed-and-breakfast, set the scene, and plenty of potentially interesting characters are introduced. The adoption of a stray cat, mysterious paintings that appear in a hidden cave, a reluctant friendship with a summer visitor, the accidental death of a demented artist, a recurring nightmare, and the discovery that her absent father suffers from severe alcoholism and mental illness are jumbled together into Evie's eventful 12th summer. Unfortunately, the disparate elements of the story never quite gel. Secondary characters are poorly developed and exist either as stock figures (the whiny younger siblings; the attractive, avant-garde art teacher) or as plot devices (the homeless "madman" whose plight gives Evie the impetus to confront her own mentally ill father). This is particularly damaging because the plot itself is somewhat fragmented and thus lacks the strength to carry the book. Although the message that we can shape our lives by changing our perceptions as well as our actions is intriguing, it's unlikely that many readers will have a chance to ponder it. The uneasy melding of mystery story and problem novel is unlikely to satisfy fans of either genre. Despite these criticisms, however, Mariconda's attempt to combine ideas about art, magic, perception, and self-discovery shows her promise as an author of thought-provoking books for young people.Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Kirkus Reviews
In a book that is part mystery, part coming-of-age novel, a 12-year-old girl unravels the secret of her shadowy past.

Evie has lived at a Maine bed-and-breakfast with her artistic, fortune-telling grandmother since the death of her mother and hospitalization of her father six years ago. A summer storm in which Evie glimpses a phantom figure in the night sets off a chain of events that propels her to delve into long unanswered questions. Falling into a rocky crevice, she stumbles across some anonymous paintings on the chamber walls. There are three possible painters: the professor who is staying at the bed- and-breakfast, the art teacher, Julia, or her own grandmother. In an accidental meeting, Evie comes face to face with a stranger among the rocks and finds herself staring into the blue eyes—eyes she almost recognizes—of a madman. This chance encounter solves the riddle of the paintings, but precipitates the reunion of father and daughter. The plot is so tangled that several threads of subplots remain undeveloped. The title offers a neat metaphor for looking at life in a more positive light, but the book leaves readers dangling between the tease of a suspense novel never fully realized and a character study only half- sketched.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440413110
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
08/10/1998
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.17(w) x 7.64(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Turn the Cup Around 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This fun and spooky book was a fantastic find. I read it to my class of fifth graders and they were engrossed!