The Rosemary Spell
The Rosemary Spell begins as 13-year-old Rosemary Bennett is setting up her bedroom in her dad's former home office, the one he abandoned 10 years ago when he left the family. Fortunately, her best friends and fellow bookworms Shelby and Adam Steiner, who are brother and sister, are on hand to help. Adam--who relishes order--dives in to categorize her books, but 16-year-old Shelby, who has a fresh flock of friends, can't stick around for long. Rosemary feels a "stabby ache" when Shelby takes off, but is soon distracted by a stunning discovery. When she and Adam break into the room's long-locked cupboard, they find a book--an ancient, possibly magical, leather diary that might have belonged to Shakespeare himself. And here the adventure--and a lot of literary detective work--starts to unfold.
The mystery of the old diary whose puzzling words come and go turns into a nightmare when, later that month, Rosemary and Adam are reading a poem they found in the diary and Shelby--poof--vanishes. She disappears from everyone's memory, too, and Rosemary and Adam desperately struggle to remember her so they can bring her back. They enlist the help of elderly local poet Constance Brooke, whose notes are in the old diary, but it's hard to glean the real clues from her wispy Alzheimer's-diminished memories. Avid middle-grade readers, Shakespeare buffs and poets will revel in Zimmerman's earnest and engaging exploration of memory and memory loss, loss in general, growing up, evolving friendships, and the joy and power of words. --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness