Caddy's World Hilary McKay
These were the four girls who were best friends:
Alison … hates everyone.
Ruby is clever.
Caddy, the bravest of the brave.
(‘Mostly because of spiders,’ said Caddy.)
This book takes place before Saffy's Angel, the summer and fall when Caddy is twelve. Caddy knows all about the genie that spins the globe on his finger and turns your world upside down. The genie struck when Indigo was born. The genie struck with Saffy showed up. The genie struck when Dad moved to London. But the genie is stuffed in the bottle and won't strike again. Everything will stay this way forever. With Indy and Saffy and Alison and Ruby and Beth. (Even Saffy knows that all the best stories begin AlisonRubyanBethanme...)
But of course, when you're 12, nothing stays the same for Alison (who may be moving to the other side of the world) Ruby (who is so clever that she's been offered a spot at a special school away from Alison and Beth and Caddy ) Beth (who is growing up and out so quickly she's too big for her pony and will do everything she can to make it stop) and Caddy (who is so terrified of the genie, she may have completely forgotten that her mother is pregnant.)
And then the Firework Baby (so-called because it was due on Guy Fawkes day, November 5) comes so very early (September 25) and Eve has to spend all of her time at the hospital and Bill's moved back to take care of the house.
Oh, the Casson family. Caddy's still... Caddy, and we see where and why and how she starts rescuing animals. Saffy and Indigo are hilarious as younger children. And you guys... picture the Casson kids with Bill in charge and Eve out of the way. Just... think about it. It's hilarious.
These books just make me happy. Even when I'm aching for the characters (and I loved the additions of Alison and Ruby and Beth.) This one focuses less on the family and more on Caddy's friends, who is who she takes refuge with when everything (once again) falls apart at home. I liked this honest look at how hard it is to live in that house, sometimes. And, as much as I love her, Rose has dominated the last few books and she can't talk in this one, yet. So, while she's a pretty major plot point, she doesn't steal the scene in the same way.
Love love love love love love love.
If you haven't read these books yet, get yourself a copy of Saffy's Angel NOW. I'll wait.
A note on the cover-- ew. I bought the Kindle version (which was released in the US in December, the US print version comes out today) and this was the cover that came attached:
Which matches the other books really well. The cover that it's being released with (up top) makes it look like some British orphan novel that takes place at the turn of the century but was published in the 70s. Blargh.
Book Provided by... my wallet
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