Friday, December 12, 2008
PORTIA'S ULTRA MYSTERIOUS DOUBLE LIFE by Anna Hays
It is 3:47 A.M. in Palmville, California, and there has just been an earthquake. Portia is used to that sort of thing, but it still comes as a surprise when it happens at night. Freddy Fred Frederick, Portia's cat never seems to get used to the rock and roll of earthquakes. His reaction is to hide under Portia's bed, and even tasty treats used a bribes won't lure him from the safety of his hiding place.
Portia is surprised when her mother wakes her later that morning. She had been dreaming of far-away places and the father she never really knew. When she hears school has been cancelled due to the earthquake, she has time to contemplate this most recent dream of her wandering father. Portia focuses on the unique quality of her dreams. Her sleeping mind invents amazing adventures and imagines her father as a mysterious detective. Each dream places him in some new location and Portia receives "dream postcards" with mysterious and unreadable messages. More than anything, Portia would like to know about her absent father, but earthquake damage requires her immediate attention.
Since there is no school, she is drafted by her mother to help clean up the family business. Indigo, Portia's mother, owns and runs a health food cafe called Contentment or The Tent. It has sustained considerable damage from the quake and its aftershocks. While helping to clean Indigo's office, Portia finds a possible clue to the mystery of her father. The clue gives her the courage she needs to begin a serious search to locate him.
Readers of PORTIA'S ULTRA MYSTERIOUS DOUBLE LIFE are in for a treat. Portia's tale is cleverly told with humorous twists and turns. Quirky characters fill the pages as the community of Palmville attempts to make their earthquake ravaged town beautiful again. The community effort is inspiration for Portia to begin the adventure unraveling the mysteries of her missing parent. Young teens will find much to like about Portia and her situation.