Clara can’t believe her no-nonsense grandmother has just up and moved to Florida, leaving Clara and her mother on their own for the first time. This means her mother can finally “follow her bliss,” which involves moving to a tiny apartment in Kensington Market, working at a herbal remedy shop and trying to develop her so-called mystical powers. Clara tries to make the best of a bad situation by joining the newspaper staff at her new middle school, where she can sharpen her investigative journalistic skills and tell the kind of hard-news stories her grandmother appreciated. But the editor relegates her to boring news stories and worse . . . the horoscopes, under the name Clara Voyant.
Worse yet, her horoscopes come true, and soon everyone at school is talking about Clara Voyant, the talented fortune-teller. Clara is horrified–horoscopes and clairvoyance aren’t real, she insists, just like her grandmother always told her. But when a mystery unfolds at school, she finds herself in a strange situation: having an opportunity to prove herself as an investigative journalist . . . with the help of her own mystical powers. (via Goodreads)
I received an eARC of Clara Voyant from Netgalley, courtesy of Puffin Canada, in exchange for an honest review.
Clara Voyant is a cute, but not stellar, middle grade novel. Clara is frankly a miserable little girl who always identified more with her straight-laced grandmother than her hippie mother. When her grandmother decides to move to Florida, Clara and her mother move to a little neighborhood called Kensington Park, where Clara finds her first best friend and a new skill – for telling the future.
One of the strongest themes in this novel is that no one is ever what they seem to be, which is a good lesson for kids this age. I liked that Clara eventually grew to enjoy her newfound powers, as well as actually getting to do her own investigative work. I was glad that she was able to see why her mother was the way she was. It was nice to see Gaby act like an actual mother every so often, instead of the airhead that her daughter saw her as.
Maeve was a bright spot of a character in Clara Voyant, with her willingness to go along with any of Clara’s plans, and helping her get out of trouble with them. I would be interested in seeing more from these two as they grow up.
All that being said, I really never got into Clara Voyant. It never captured me the way it should have, since I actually work as a daily journalist. It was honestly disappointing, but there wasn’t anything actually wrong with it.