Sophie And Crystal Carter and the Unexpected Secret

Written by Kelly Cairns


Looking at this title and cover, you probably would  guess that this story is a magical adventure. The author has seamlessly interwoven a diversity of elements into an intriguing plot with so many twists and turns that the reader is left guessing right up to the end of the story.

At first glance, ten year old fraternal twins Sophie and Crystal Carter are just like most girls their age. They live with their mom, Sarah in a small town. Sophie is shy and nervous, while her sister is rather confident and bossy. This summer, the girls are surprised to hear that they would be staying with their maternal grandfather, whom they had never met. Their mother needs to take care of some business; she appears irritable and upset. Upon arrival at the house, the girls discover it is creepy and old. Soon the girls hear strange noises, and upon investigating the twins find some disturbing things in the basement. When the girls confront their grandfather, they are astonished to discover that everyone in the family is not who they appear to be—even themselves. Granddad decides to come clean and tell them the truth.

I don’t want to give away the intricate and well-written plot filled with surprises. Readers will find spiders, witches, leprechauns, bats, pixies, winged horses, magic mushrooms, spells, and potions with plenty of evil forces at work. This newly thrown together family will need to fight for their survival. In doing so, they will learn a lot a about themselves in the process. Cairns does an excellent job with character development; I really felt as if I were in all the character’s shoes. Things never get dull. The reader will be left guessing as to the outcome right up to the end of the adventure. Be forewarned, the ending is a bit of a tearjerker.

This book is targeted for ages seven and up. Despite the lack of illustrations, the story of less than 100 pages is so well written that it should hold the interest of younger readers once they get past the first few pages. As an adult reader, I could not stop reading until I got to the end. Looking forward to more adventures with the Carter family.

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