Welcome to another Throwback Thursday! This week we are going to discuss Peg Kehret's Sisters Long Ago, published in 1992 by Minstrel Books.
On her thirteenth birthday, Willow Paige and her best friend go to the lake. While Willow is swimming, she gets a cramp in her stomach and nearly drowns. In her struggle to get her head above water, Willow has visions of an ancient Egyptian girl name Kalos, whom Willow is convinced is herself in a previous lifetime. Did she really live before, in ancient Egypt? Or was the vision brought on by the stress of almost drowning? Watch Willow's quest for answers unfold against the backdrop of Willow's sister's leukemia, friendship struggles, and catching a suspected dognapper! Whew!
I love this book. Usually middle grade books are about an ordinary kid who goes to another planet/universe/world/dimension and does extraordinary things there. This was probably the first book I read as a child that made me think about extraordinary events happening in the ordinary world. Because of the subject matter, the tone of the book is very reflective; we're inside Willow's head most of the time. But the pace of the story moves rather quickly, so one doesn't get bored. Still, if you or your child likes a lot of action, you won't find a ton of it here, though there are a couple of tense action scenes. (I won't ruin them for you!) Ancient Egypt fans will get a kick out this book as well, as there is a fair amount of history in a book of this length (149 pages).
Recommended for kids ages 10+. No sex, drugs, or violence, but Willow does struggle with questions of Life and Death, so be prepared to chat with your tween afterwards!