The Spirit of Cattail County (Hardcover)

The Spirit of Cattail County By Victoria Piontek Cover Image
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A heart-expanding, magical debut from one of the most exciting new voices in the grand tradition of southern literature.

Sparrow doesn't have many friends. Some kids believe her house near the swamp is haunted. Others think there's something "unusual" about her. But Sparrow's not lonely -- she has a best friend who's always with her. He sits with Sparrow on her porch swing. He makes her smile by playing pranks in church. Yet Sparrow is the only one who can see him . . . because the Boy is a ghost. So when her mama passes away, Sparrow doesn't give up hope. After all, if the Boy can linger after death, then surely Mama can return as well. But the Boy has a secret of his own, one that Sparrow will need to uncover before the ghost will lead her to Mama. To solve the mystery, Sparrow joins forces with some unlikely allies -- Maeve and Johnny, siblings from a family of town outcasts --and Elena, a visiting child fortune-teller.With its loving depiction of small town life, and characters who feel like old friends, this magical debut will enchant you, dazzle you. . . and make you feel at home.

About the Author

Victoria Piontek is the author of The Spirit of Cattail County, a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year. As a child, she was lucky to have a menagerie of pets, including a goat that liked to follow her to the school bus each morning. She lives in Northern California with her husband, three children, and a gigantic fluffy dog. Better with Butter is her second novel. Visit her online at or on social media @victoriapiontek.

Praise For…

Praise for The Spirit of Cattail County:“With gorgeous prose, an eerie historical undercurrent, and a lush, larger-than-life Florida backdrop, Piontek not only delivers a taut exploration of fractured small-town dynamics, but an entrancing, compulsively readable mystery. Sensitive readers with a yen for all things supernatural will hungrily sleuth their way through this atmospheric debut.” –Booklist"A moving quest for comfort, understanding, and acceptance set in the marshes of Florida. Sparrow is not like other children, she has the gift, or curse, of seeing spirits. After her mother passes from illness, Sparrow asks her best friend—a ghost no one else can see—to send a message to her mom. Sparrow is in need of friends, family, and everything else she seems to lack. Her challenges throughout the book will resonate with pre-teens and those who have ever lost a loved one or felt they were completely alone. The author also delves deep into the roots of life in Florida, with descriptive sensory details throughout the story. Readers can feel the mud squish beneath their feet as characters walk through the marshes, and smell the salt in the air as the wind blows. VERDICT A melancholy, but ultimately uplifting, story about overcoming sorrow and finding one's place in the world. Hand this to readers who crave sad stories."--School Library Journal
Product Details
ISBN: 9781338167054
ISBN-10: 1338167057
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: May 29th, 2018
Pages: 288
Language: English