by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Reviewed September 12, 2004.
Delacorte Press, New York, 2004. 199 pages.
Xandra Hobson is walking in the forest, when a beautiful white bird
is shot by a hunter. Xandra rescues the bird from the hounds.
The bird disappears by morning, but it leaves Xandra a white feather.
When the strange girl Belinda sees the feather, she tells Xandra that
it’s a Key. The Key allows Xandra to see the Unseen, beings that are
all around but usually can’t be seen. The trouble is that some of
them are nice, but some are dark and dangerous. Can Xandra learn how
to keep safe from them?
This book is a little bit about the magic key, but even more about
Xandra’s relationship with her siblings of the large Hobson family.
She doesn’t feel like she belongs. The rest are good-looking and
popular. She doesn’t feel like one of them.
Zilpha Keatley Snyder does a great job portraying the isolation that
can happen in a big family. Although Xandra’s family only had five
kids, having been a member of an even bigger family, it was all too easy
to imagine myself in her place.
Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.
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