The Carrefour Curse by Dianne K. Salerni

Published by Holiday House

Summary:  Garnet has always loved her mother’s stories about growing up with her large extended family at the Crossroad House, but her mom fled the house long ago, and Garnet has never seen it.  It takes an episode of vomiting frogs to get the two of them back there, where they find the house in disrepair and the family dealing with the family patriarch, Jasper, who is staying alive by sucking the life energy from anyone he can.  As Garnet learns more about her magical family and their history, she discovers powers of her own beyond the magic she has always practiced.  When a crisis threatens her and her cousins, she must use those powers to save herself and to put her family on a new and more promising path.  224 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  Buckle yourself in for a magical mystery tour of an ancient house and family that holds more than its share of dark secrets.  Anyone who enjoys a good mystery with a generous dose of spookiness is in for a treat. Dianne Salerni does an amazing job of creating a richly detailed magical family history in just over 200 pages.

Cons:  I struggled to keep all the members of the family straight.  I wish the family tree, which I had to refer to frequently, had been at the beginning of the book instead of on pages 10 and 11.

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