Life takes many unexpected twists and turns the year the twins, Jackson and Pollyreads, turn eleven and face their first separation.
The year the twins were eleven, there was bad news and good news and more bad news. Jammy came back to the village, took over the plot of land that belonged to the Gilmans, and refused to leave. That land was going to be Jackson’s one day, and neither he nor Poppa was happy about what Jammy’d done.
Then on the day the results of the Common Entrance exam were announced, there was good news, wonderful news. Pollyread had done so well that she got a scholarship to St. Giles. She was the very first person from the village to get a scholarship, and everyone celebrated. But there was only one scholarship. Jackson would have to go to his second choice school, Kings College. It was one of the best schools on the island, but it wasn’t St. Giles. For the first time, the twins would be separated.
And the next morning, there was more bad news. Someone had come during the night and destroyed their garden, the planting that Jackson and Poppa took care of so lovingly. And as Jackson stared at the ruins, he thought of the plants Poppa had destroyed, plants that Jammy and his friends had planted. Had he gotten his revenge? Or could someone else in the village hate the Gilmans that much?
And what kind of news would come next? Good news or bad? Laughter or tears?
This booktalk was written by Joni Richards Bodart, library school professor, writer, consultant, and booktalker extraordinaire.