A 3.5 star rating that I'm rounding down rather than up because I found the ending just a little too superficially neat and easy, and that's lingering a bit. In general, though, I found the book engaging and interesting and Lucy an appealingly strong character.
The book opens with Lucy riding a train north from San Francisco, fleeing the finishing school she hates in pursuit of the father who left her there while he sought work as a ghost clearer. This is an alternate history where the continent's first peoples did not fare so badly against the European settlers, and she travels through their lands to reach the rough pioneer logging community along the coast. She arrives to find her father gone, though, without explanation. Lucy deduces upon investigation that he left hoping to find a supernatural cause--and cure--for the mysterious fungus that is killing all the trees, and sets off into the wild to track him down. Her adventures that follow are magical, perilous, and eye-opening in numerous different ways.
A very solid and appealing read for middle grades.
The best book I've read in a long time.
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