Maureen Johnson is the author of SUITE SCARLETT, SCARLETT FEVER, THE KEY TO THE GOLDEN FIREBIRD, 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES, THE BERMUDEZ TRIANGLE, DEVILISH, and GIRL AT SEA. She lives in New York City.
Gr 8 Up-The Martin clan is an unusually eccentric family, even by New York City standards. Scarlett's parents own and run the Hopewell, a small, rundown, historic hotel in the heart of the city in this novel by Maureen Johnson (Scholastic, pap. 2009). According to family "rules," upon turning 15, each sibling is given a hotel suite to care for, along with any guests booked into that particular room. By the luck of the draw, Scarlett's first "client" is Mrs. Amberson-a former actress and world traveler with a penchant for running other peoples' lives and an amazingly egocentric view of the universe. By the time the woman is finished with the Martins, every member of the family will have experienced a life changing and positive event. Jennie Stith's little girl voice seems a tad young for Scarlett, and her breathy delivery becomes wearing after a while. This, coupled with the book's implausible plot and minimally developed characters makes it a marginal purchase.-Cindy Lombardo, Cleveland Public Library, OH Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information