The Lost Twin

304p. (Scarlet & Ivy: Bk. 1). Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky. May 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781492633396.
Gr 4–7—Ivy's twin sister, Scarlet, died at Rookwood boarding school, and now Ivy has been offered her sister's place. When the headmistress arrives to take her to the school, however, Ivy learns that she wants Ivy to literally take Scarlet's place: Ivy will assume Scarlet's identity, answering to her sister's name and adopting her sister's mannerisms. Ivy is not told why she is expected to do so—only that she has no choice. In the dorm room that used to belong to Scarlet, Ivy finds part of her sister's diary. Scarlet has left a trail of clues around the school for Ivy to find. These scraps of information reveal some shady dealings that Scarlet discovered during her last days at Rookwood. Ivy must use the information she uncovers to answer the growing number of questions she has about her sister's death. With an undeniably engaging—albeit a tad bit far-fetched—premise, this book is sure to appeal to readers who enjoy a puzzle mystery with plenty of twists and turns. The secrets exposed through Scarlet's clues result in a fast-paced and gripping read. Ivy's character develops over the course of the story as she struggles to move beyond her sister's shadow.
VERDICT This book should find a place in most middle grade collections; a debut author to watch.

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