I loved this book as a girl, another favorite I read over and over again. But what intrigued me so much about it then was Perdita, the witch’s daughter, the shy, neglected girl, bullied by other children in the teeny-tiny Scottish isle where she lives.

Now, I find myself more focused on the other aspect of the story, (which passed me by completely before), the story of the jewel thief hiding his ill-gotten gains on a remote island in the far north of Scotland, and how he is inadvertently thwarted by Perdita and her new friends Janey (who is blind) and Tim, Janey’s brother.

Tim is the least interesting character of the three. He mainly exists as a mouthpiece for the working out of the jewelry heist plot. But Perdita and Janey are perfect foils for each other. Perdita, because she is unusually sensitive to when other people are about to be hurt. And Janey, because she is blind but extremely smart, so that she is well adept at hearing things others cannot. The scene where Janey leads Perdita and Tim out of danger is my favorite.

If you have a middle grader who wants to read something different, quirky & English, you should look no further. Five stars.