Stubborn, self-reliant eleven-year-old Zoe, recently orphaned, is forced to move to the country to live with her strange and bad-tempered uncle. Zoe could care less that he’s a famous doctor and sculptor. All she knows is that he is impossible to understand. The only interesting thing on the farm is a feral cat who won’t let Zoe near. Together, Zoe and her uncle learn about trust and the strength of family ties. In this moving coming-of-age novel, Zoe comes to understand what it means to love and be loved, uncovers a long-kept secret, and finds family where she least expects it. Includes an interview with the author and a reading group guide.
Named ALA Notable Children’s Book Award; Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s books of the Year; NCTE Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts; Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book.
“Carmichael gives a familiar plot fresh new life in this touching story with a finely crafted sense of place. . . . Zoë’s fierce, funny voice is compelling.” –Booklist
* “A tribute to the power of story, this is ultimately a tale of hope and redemption. Zoe Royster, peer to the literary heroines she so loves, is as memorable in her own way as the Great Gilly Hopkins, Opal Buloni and Anne Shirley.” –Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Carmichael’s a smooth and evocative stylist. . . . [Zoe] is at times a new-millennium Shirley Temple in her relentlessly adorable moppetry.” –Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books