Some books are ageless. On the outside they seem one thing–a chapter book for kids, let’s say–but on the inside they are something completely different. Hilary McKay’s series about the quirky Casson children are packaged as children’s books, but the stories inside are treasures for people of any age.
The Casson parents are both artists and they named each of their children after a color on the family’s beloved paint chart. Caddy (Cadmium), Indigo, Saffy (Saffron) and Rose love their names and their family color chart–until the day that Saffy learns to read. She discovers her name is NOT on the chart, revealing family secrets and fraying her family ties.
When Saffy is 13, her grandfather dies and Saffy starts on a journey of self-discovery. She finds the answers she is looking for, but not where she was expecting to find them.
Saffy’s Angel is told in a sparse, mystical style that gracefully sweeps from child to child. The threads of the story always wind back together, making you laugh out loud and shed a few tears along the way. I’d suggest this to a middle school reader that is a fan of Sharon Creech or the Penderwicks, or to anyone who loves British chick-lit with a literary bent. Each book in the series is a treasure and you’ll find yourself hoping each page you turn is not the last.
Have you ever re-read a childhood favorite and discovered a completely different book in your hands?
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