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Now You See It...

Review

Now You See It...

When Wendy finds a funky looking pair of sunglasses on her front lawn and they seem to fit her prescription, she thinks she's in luck:

"My eyeballs were instantly happier. The sunglasses cut out all the glare. And the lenses gave everything a nice pinkish glow, even the statue our next-door neighbor Mrs. Freelander put up by her front stoop in memory of her beloved, dearly departed Pekingese dog of twenty-five years ago, Mr. Tassels. The glasses made the lilacs across the street look stunning. The park has hundreds of varieties of lilacs in shades of dark purple, light purple, bluish purple, pink, and --- if I hadn't been wearing those rosy glasses --- white. The lenses made them all look gorgeous…."

However, it isn't long before Wendy realizes that she is seeing a lot more than pretty colors. She sees a ghost (when a woman is killed in a traffic accident), she sees little blue creatures, and she sees Tiffanie --- the best looking girl in her class, appearing to be a haggard, VERY old woman. Just when she thinks she might be losing her mind totally, she falls through a magic portal into another world and that's when her adventures really begin.

In this other world Wendy is dealing with a captured elf prince (known as Julian in Wendy's normal life), a dragon, Larry (the little blue sprite), Tiffanie (in this form a powerful kind of witch), and of all things, an encounter with her grandmother as a teenager. In this other world Wendy participates in the dramatic and dangerous rescue of Julian and the dragon. The most powerful of her experiences, however, is getting to know her grandmother as a young, bright woman (much like herself), and knowing that in today's world her grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Vivian Vande Velde handles several interesting storylines and characters as she weaves them through a kind of time warp. Readers will be touched by the portrayal of Wendy's struggle to understand why these things are happening, and most especially her relationship with Eleni, her grandmother. Wendy is sad but thankful that she has had the opportunity to better know her grandmother as a "whole" person.

Wendy's voice is typical teen with an attitude --- on the funny side, overly sensitive and feeling like the outsider. While her narration is often amusing, it also has sweetness as her character grows and begins to develop a real appreciation of the adult world around her --- as she begins to really "see." Vande Velde makes Wendy appealing to both teens and older readers in this respect. NOW YOU SEE IT… is a book that will easily satisfy lovers of both fantasy and adventure.

Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts on October 18, 2011

Now You See It...
by Vivian Vande Velde

  • Publication Date: January 1, 2005
  • Genres: Fantasy
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
  • ISBN-10: 0152053115
  • ISBN-13: 9780152053116