Don’t be fooled by the cover of this book, TWO HOUSE LILLY, written and illustrated by Candace J. Hardy. It isn’t really about witches, although a witch costume plays a prominent part in the story.
Lilly is a nine year old fourth grader whose life has been turned upside down by the divorce of her parents. The story is sad at times, but the age group who will be reading it should be able to handle the honest approach to family problems in this chapbook for tweens published by Guardian Angel Publishing.
Lilly’s dad has remarried. His wife came to the marriage with a set of twins and a special needs daughter, although she seems quite smart to me. Now Dad and his wife have another child, a baby girl.
Lilly lives with both families. Her calendar is divided between Red Weeks with her father and Blue Weeks with her mother (with every other weekend at Grandma’s).
Lilly’s mom has not remarried. She resents the fact that her husband left her and is vocal about her feelings. She also appears to be drinking a bit too much. Her attitude is making Lilly wish she could live full-time with the dad’s family.
When Lilly discovers that her mom has muscular sclerosis, which sometimes mimics drunkenness, and when Mom gets on medication and becomes a calmer and nicer person, Lilly draws closer to her mom.
Complications set in when 1) Dad’s employer is moving him to another state, 2) a boy who is a bully hurts Lilly and they become enemies, 3) Lilly wants to be the witch in the school presentation of HANSEL AND GRETEL but can’t make the rehearsals, (so will she or won’t she get to play the witch?) and 4) Lilly’s step-mother becomes grouchy knowing she has to leave the town that feels like home to her, and 5) the witch costume gets splashed with bleach.
And there are other complications. Some of the problems are out of Lilly’s hands, but Lilly speaks up about honesty and saves the bully from being expelled by defending him against a wrongful charge.
Now about that witch costume. Need I say, it’s Grandma to the rescue?
This book is well written, with a variety of interesting characters, well-meshed sub-plots, suspense, and humor.
Candace Hardy has a great love for all things vintage and enjoysdoing historical research. During her younger years, she taught in her mother’s piano studio, then became a teacher in the former Hebrew Academy of Toledo and a
special education teacher, teaching hearing impaired children. She lives near Toledo, Ohio with her husband
and their two beautiful dalmations.
TWO HOUSE LILLY, with 25 Chapters and 190 pages, is Candace’s second book with GAP.
I purchased this book in electronic form from Guardian Angel Publishing Bookstore and have presented an honest opinion.