The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden

The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden

by Philippa Dowding
Dundurn Press, 2014
ISBN 978-1-45970-735-1
$9.99 sc, 200 pp, ages 13+

I really like this book because it explains what it is like to be a 13-year-old girl going through puberty. I also like the author’s humour and the way she describes flying. One example of this is in one of Gwendolyn’s quotes: Oh, I see. Other girls just get to have their period. I get to have my period and start flying around the neighbourhood. I found this quote pretty funny.

My favourite character is Gwendolyn, the main character, because of the way she overcame her fear of flying. I also like the way she deals with getting in trouble with the law, a boy named Martin’s mother and rumours around the school. Gwendolyn also has anger issues and she seems like the oddball of the school.

One of my favourite parts is when Gwendolyn almost gets taken away by the “shade,” which is an evil cloud that takes night flyers out of the sky. The thought of Mr. McGillies, a homeless man who is flying around in the sky using a pop bottle to defeat the shade, was so funny! After that part of the book and when Gwendolyn says thank you to Mr. McGillies, he tells her: Darkness doesn’t like bottle shine. You ought not to go out alone.

This book is a really good choice for any girl who likes fantasy. Some topics in this book do talk about female issues that might make a boy uncomfortable while reading this!

Review by Rosie, age 13, grade 8.

This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Sept/Oct 2015 issue.

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