The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden, by Philippa Dowding (2014)

Genre: Fantasy
Interest Level: 10-14
The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn GoldenThis sweet and sensitive coming-of-age story introduces readers to Gwendolyn Golden, a Grade 8 student in a small Ontario town where the candy store is fun central for kids. Hot-tempered and a bit lonely, Gwendolyn lives with her widowed mum and twin siblings (Christine and Christopher, or C2 and sometimes The Chrissies), and relies on her best friend Jez for support in all things. Until the day she wakes up bumping her head on the ceiling. Puberty is strange, indeed. We meet a number of great characters in this book, including a mentor for Gwennie as she learns to manage her unexpected ability to fly. I found myself frequently reminded of the 1960s classic A Wrinkle in Timea young heroine with a reliable pal, a female mentor, a dark and threatening spiritual aspect, and an awesome power that makes you wish it were truly possible, all in a delightful and sensitive story. Look past the overreliance on foreshadowing and enjoy the great dialogue, characterization, and lovely plotting in this terrific little introduction to the fantasy genre. href=”″>


About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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