The Girl Who Lost Her Shadow

Floris. Feb. 2020. 224p. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781782506072.
Gr 4-7–When Gail’s shadow disappears, she’s more surprised than concerned—until her sister’s shadow disappears, too. Gail is determined to find Kay’s shadow, convinced that if she does, Kay will return to her old self instead of the sad, tired person she’s become since their dad left. But there are plenty of places for shadows to hide on their Scottish island, and not everyone is friendly to a lost one. This story is a delight, a quest that focuses on character while expertly handling multiple plot threads and providing a strong sense of place. Gail believes she is searching for a shadow, but her real lesson is finding her independence instead of relying on her beloved sister. Subplots focusing on protecting the island’s marine life work with Ilett’s creative language to craft a vivid, wild setting that mirrors the magical realism of the story.
VERDICT Ilett’s debut is full of feeling: the comfort of a folktale, the dazzle of the magical, and the trials and triumphs of life. Gail is a true heroine, and the world of children’s literature is lucky to have her.

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