Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite (at ReadersFavorite.com)
The Silver Strand, by L. J. Clarkson, introduces readers to Isabelle Tresdon—an artist and scientist—not an athlete—who, while suffering through gym class with a headache, ends up on the floor with pink dust that sparkles around her, then fades away. Minutes later, Isabelle sprouts a “granny hair.” This silver streak worries Isabelle. Will the others kids now give her grandma nicknames, like Ethyl, Beryl, or Shirley? With the assistance of her best friend, Bianca, Isabelle attempts to cut off the silver streak. Only later does she learn that it was to be her ticket into the Mastermind Academy, a school of magic.
Presented with a series of tests she must pass in order to earn back her silver streak, Isabelle begins a journey full of chaos, worry and fun! She discovers how to use her imagination to envision the solution to a problem, how to appreciate her own unique beauty and that of others, and how to believe in herself.
In The Silver Strand, Clarkson has provided Isabelle support via a cast of characters rich in quirky personality traits. Meet Bianca, the tough best friend who uses her shirt to wipe off “a year’s worth of smudges” from her eyeglasses. Meet “Mom,” who has kept her own silver streak hidden all these years! One after the other, from Mr. Higgins, the science teacher who conducts dangerous in-class experiments, to Jemima, who accuses Isabelle of being an alien, to Boldrick, destined to live in the form of a cat for years, to Esme the daredevil, to Max the toad, to Ramala the dragon—who initially intends to season, roast and then eat Isabelle--The Silver Strand delivers! With charm, wit and laugh-out-loud dialogue and prose, Clarkson has created a story that is destined to become a favorite for middle grade and pre-teen readers!