Goodbye, not-so-good friends,
hello, new life in a new country!
Now… how to become a new me?
Callie and Jax’s parents have inherited what? A large drafty castle in Scotland that her family will renovate into a tourist destination is a huge change from their small two-bedroom apartment in San Diego where she was bullied at school.
Jax bounds into primary school as happily as he races through the castle’s many chilly rooms where stones fall from fireplaces and mice munch on tapestries.
Callie loves the small village library, but utterly panics at starting mid-term at the high school – please, please, will her parents let her homeschool to finish seventh grade and help them renovate?
They agree, as long as she does an outside activity to make friends… hmm, Lady Whittington-Spence’s childhood journal talks about bird-watching when she was evacuated to the countryside early in World War II.
When Callie unintentionally makes an enemy of their landscape designer’s young teen granddaughter, escaping to the youth birdwatching club (oops, it’s called ‘twitching club’ in Scotland) seems the best idea.
The twitchers are pleased to have access to the castle grounds for the Big Day competition when their club will try to beat teams from neighboring villages by spotting the most birds. Callie has some catching up to do, and Cressida (“just Sid”) forgives her so they can learn all the birds’ favorite nesting spots.
Can she and Sid show the twitching club that girls are great birders?
Can Callie’s family get the castle in shape for visitors soon?
How did their new cat get into the dumbwaiter?
Entries from Pippa Spence’s journal punctuate Callie’s own journey into confidence in her own abilities to learn new things and finally make friends worth having.
Published in paperback this week! By the author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost (I recommend here).
What’s on your “must-see” personal list?