Published by Walden Pond Press
Summary: Identical twins Iris and Lark look the same, but they are very different people. Lark is artistic and dreamy, always spinning fantastic stories from everyday items and happenings. Iris sees herself as Lark’s protector, fiercely taking on anyone who tries to make fun of her. When their parents decide to put them into two different fifth grade classes, both girls are sure they’re in for a disaster. As time goes on, it seems to Iris that they are right, as Lark has to deal with a teacher she calls “the ogre” who makes her do oral presentations and stressful math drills. Iris starts looking for answers at a mysterious new store in town called Treasure Hunters, whose strange proprietor seems to know more about her and Lark than he should. An occasional first-person narrator also appears to have some unusual insights into the two girls, and slowly the reader sees that there is magic at play…and some of it is pretty dark. When Iris gets in over her head, it’s up to Lark and some awesome new friends to step in and save the day. 368 pages; grades 4-7.
Pros: An enchanting mix of realism and fantasy, with a pretty blurry line between the two. The themes of love and hate are explored in a unique and engaging way. This may make it on to some Newbery lists.
Cons: I didn’t love this book as much as I felt like I should have. Although I could appreciate the beautiful writing, it seemed slow to get going, and I could see kids abandoning it before the end.