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Clara Voyant
Cover of Clara Voyant
Clara Voyant
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A wannabe journalist and reluctant astrologer turns out to be clairvoyant in this charming middle-grade coming-of-age novel; for fans of Rebecca Stead's novels.Clara can't believe her no-nonsense...
A wannabe journalist and reluctant astrologer turns out to be clairvoyant in this charming middle-grade coming-of-age novel; for fans of Rebecca Stead's novels.Clara can't believe her no-nonsense...
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Description-

  • A wannabe journalist and reluctant astrologer turns out to be clairvoyant in this charming middle-grade coming-of-age novel; for fans of Rebecca Stead's novels.
    Clara can't believe her no-nonsense grandmother has just up and moved to Florida, leaving Clara and her mother on their own for the first time. This means her mother can finally "follow her bliss," which involves moving to a tiny apartment in Kensington Market, working at a herbal remedy shop and trying to develop her so-called mystical powers. Clara tries to make the best of a bad situation by joining the newspaper staff at her new middle school, where she can sharpen her investigative journalistic skills and tell the kind of hard-news stories her grandmother appreciated. But the editor relegates her to boring news stories and worse . . . the horoscopes.
    Worse yet, her horoscopes come true, and soon everyone at school is talking about Clara Voyant, the talented fortune-teller. Clara is horrified—horoscopes and clairvoyance aren't real, she insists, just like her grandmother always told her. But when a mystery unfolds at school, she finds herself in a strange situation: having an opportunity to prove herself as an investigative journalist . . . with the help of her own mystical powers.

Excerpts-

  • From the book Clara Costa had only been at Kensington Middle School for a month, but already she understood the implications of a Blazer Day. All the Newsies did. When Wesley Ferris, editor-in-chief of the Kensington Middle School Gazette, showed up to school wearing a blazer, she meant business.
    So when the last bell rang on Tuesday afternoon, Clara was ready. She'd been watching the clock tick steadily toward 3:15 all through math class. The second it hit, she slammed her textbook shut, hopped out of her desk, and beelined for her meeting.
    Unfortunately, it was hard to get anywhere fast at Kensington Middle School, or KMS as the students called it. KMS was enormous—easily three times the size of High Park Public, where Clara had gone to elementary school—and jam-packed with what felt like three hundred times as many kids (though it was probably closer to ten).
    They surrounded her in the hallway, sweeping her along with them as they surged toward their lockers, laughing and shouting.
    "Excuse me." She tried to push her way across the hall. "Um, can I get through? I've got to—"
    A basketball sailed over her head and smacked the wall. Some kids gasped. Others guffawed.
    "Watch it," someone warned. "She's around here somewhere."
    Everyone paused to glance over their shoulders, including Clara. But Mrs. Major, the KMS custodian, was nowhere in sight. Relieved, she continued on, picking up the pace but being careful not to break into a run. Mrs. Major's Number One Rule—even more important than No Throwing Basketballs—was No Running in the Halls. And Mrs. Major was not to be disobeyed. Mrs. Major was even more intimidating than Wesley Ferris in a blazer.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2018
    After her grandmother's move to Florida, future investigative reporter Clara Costa finds life with just her ditzy mother, Gaby, maddeningly unpredictable.Now Clara and Gaby live in Toronto's lively, diverse Kensington Market neighborhood in an apartment above Healing Herbs. There, Gaby diagnoses ills and dispenses unscientific remedies. Clara misses her grandmother's practical, predictable ways. On the bright side, Clara's bonded with classmate Maeve, a budding actress who's appreciative of Clara's colorful, chaotic home. Clara hopes to prove herself as a reporter for the school paper, but the knitting-club profile that Wesley, the ambitious grade-eight editor, assigns Clara offers little scope for her talents. Next, Wesley wants Clara to write a horoscope column: Clara Voyant. Meanwhile, the school mascot, Buzzter the Honeybee (an aging piñata), is stolen. This mystery's a perfect match for Clara's investigative talents, but skeptic Clara is stuck with astrological predictions. When these come true, she's perplexed and intrigued. She also hunts for Buzzter, knowing it'll be a terrific scoop if she can find him. Clara and the book's default are white, with the abundant diversity primarily indicated through naming convention; Maeve is biracial and Chinese-Canadian. The plot hums along briskly, but the humor wobbles. At its best--Wesley's a case in point--it's dry, succinct, and funny, but Gaby's more caricature than character. While the plot has amusing twists and turns, the author waffles on the existence of clairvoyance itself.A lightweight but enjoyable read. (Fiction. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2018

    Gr 4-7-Clara craves normalcy and organization. With her beloved grandmother deserting their home in Toronto for sunny Florida, Clara is left to the whimsical parenting of her mother, Gabby. Gabby "follows her bliss" and moves them to an apartment in a new neighborhood, paints the apartment walls in colors like Mango and Ripe Tomato, and gets a job at an herb shop mixing potions and remedies. Clara is mortified. Clara's life only gets worse when she is assigned to write horoscopes for the middle school paper under the pen name Clara Voyant. What self-respecting investigative journalist would stoop to such "woo-woo" malarkey? Embarrassingly, the horoscope column is a resounding success, with stunningly accurate predictions. Now, Clara is besieged by students wanting to know their futures, and she is given a permanent position at the paper. Clara decides to take charge of her destiny and sets out to prove her journalistic chops by finding the missing school mascot. This lighthearted mystery focuses more on character development than suspense. Clara is so driven to compensate for her mother and create an orderly world that she overlooks the potential for fun and friendship. As the plot develops, she struggles to accept that she may actually be clairvoyant, but eventually opens her heart to a bit of eccentricity. VERDICT Clara is an utterly likable character and readers will root for her. A solid purchase for larger collections, especially where readers enjoy a touch of the supernatural in their mysteries.-Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor School District, Lancaster, PA

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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