Monday, August 14, 2006

Jumping the Scratch by Sarah Weeks

I really liked this book. The story centers around Jamie Reardon, a fifth grader who has always heard that bad things come in threes. That certainly seems to be the case for him. First, his cat dies, then his father runs off with a cashier from the local discount store, and then, his aunt Sapphy is injured in an accident at the cherry factory where she works, and loses her short-term memory. After Jamie and his mother move in with Sapphy to help take care of her, he hopes that now his life will go back to normal. But unfortunately, there is something else bad waiting for him -- something that he later tries in vain to forget -- even going so far as to let his neighbor, a strange girl name Audrey Krouch, hypnotize him. All the whille Jamie continues to try to find the magic trigger that will help Sapphy's memory jump the scratch, like the needle on her favorite record. This book is sad in parts, funny in parts, and the characters really ring true. The relationship between Jamie and his aunt Sapphy reminds me of the mother-daughter relationship in another of the author's books, So Be It. Review by Jane Malmberg

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