Clara can’t wait to write some groundbreaking investigative journalism pieces for her school newspaper, the Kensington Middle School Gazette. When she’s given the job of writing the paper’s horoscope column instead, Clara is devastated. She doesn’t even believe in horoscopes or anything else she considers “Woo!”
She’s hoping to only have to write the column once to pay her dues and then move on to more interesting articles, like the mystery of the missing school mascot, but the horoscopes Clara has written are coming true. All of a sudden everyone around her thinks she’s clairvoyant, despite her protests that she is most definitely not.
I liked Clara’s mother, who practices herbalism, has a group of new friends that Clara disapproves of and paints her home in colours Clara finds the outrageous, like Ripe Tomato and Mango Tango. Clara’s mother’s friends were a fun, eccentric bunch.
“Seriously?” Was there no end to these people’s weirdness?
I also liked Clara’s best friend, Maeve, who’s enthusiastic, loves crime dramas and wants to star in the school play.
Clara, though? I didn’t like her much at all. I understand that she’s missing her old home and her grandmother, who’s recently moved away, but her enthusiasm for most things was underwhelming at best and her attitude needed a serious realignment for the majority of the book. I didn’t like the way she judged everything she didn’t personally believe in and the people who did believe in those things.
“You can’t predict the future,” she told herself aloud. Could she?
I would have loved to have explored the Mystic Mart, which is like “Walmart, but with voodoo dolls.” Although we do solve the mystery of who stole the school mascot, we never learn the identity of the Counterfeit Kid.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Puffin, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, for the opportunity to read this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
Clara can’t believe her no-nonsense grandmother has just up and moved to Florida, leaving Clara and her mother on their own for the first time. This means her mother can finally “follow her bliss,” which involves moving to a tiny apartment in Kensington Market, working at a herbal remedy shop and trying to develop her so-called mystical powers. Clara tries to make the best of a bad situation by joining the newspaper staff at her new middle school, where she can sharpen her investigative journalistic skills and tell the kind of hard-news stories her grandmother appreciated. But the editor relegates her to boring news stories and worse … the horoscopes.
Worse yet, her horoscopes come true, and soon everyone at school is talking about Clara Voyant, the talented fortune-teller. Clara is horrified – horoscopes and clairvoyance aren’t real, she insists, just like her grandmother always told her. But when a mystery unfolds at school, she finds herself in a strange situation: having an opportunity to prove herself as an investigative journalist … with the help of her own mystical powers.