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A Clear Spring

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BARBARA WILSON is well known for her feminist mysteries, including the Cassandra Reilly series: Case of the Orphaned Bassoonists, Death of a Much-Travelled Woman, Gaudi Afternoon, and Sisters of the Road.

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A Clear Spring

Barbara Wilson

Award-winning mystery writer Barbara Wilson's first novel for young readers is funny, exciting, and eco-savvy. Willa C. Lopez is traveling on her own for the first time. She's almost twelve, and grown-up enough to fly on a plane by herself and spend the summer away from home. But is Willa ready for the changes, surprises, and mysteries she'll find when she arrives?

Willa is spending her summer in Seattle with Aunt Ceci and her partner, Janie. Through her work as a naturalist, Janie introduces Willa to the local wildlife and ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. Then someone starts polluting the salmon stream in the park where Janie works, and Willa teams up with her cousin Tabitha to find the culprit. From her diverse, confident, and sometimes eccentric bunch of relatives, Willa learns that there isn't any one kind of family—the only requirement is love. She also learns about ecosystems and "scientific sleuthing," and discovers what may be her life's work.

For ages 9-12

"Wilson convincingly portrays Willa's excitement as she develops a passionate interest in nature, and the 'eco-sleuthing' will attract mystery fans. Children looking for books showing nontraditional families will find a range of families here, including gay couples, interracial marriages, and single parents."

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