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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Gabbie Flowers and the Key to the Universe is a children and preteens' book written by Dianne Caplin. Gabbie seems like a normal, everyday eleven-year-old kid by day. She lives with her grandmother, Nana Alice, and her older sister, Victoria, in a brownstone in New York City. By night, however, she astral projects in the company of her spirit guide, Samuel, and they visit with Gabbie's mother, Katherine, at the Hall of Reconnection. Katherine died when Gabbie was only 4, but the two still get to spend their night times together. Gabbie is excited about the art competition at school. The winner gets to paint a mural on a large wall in the hallway, but Gabbie still can't visualize her master work. Samuel takes Gabbie to the Temple of Artistic Endeavors to learn from great artists from the past for inspiration.
Dianne Caplin's children and preteens' book, Gabbie Flowers and the Key to the Universe, is marvelous on so many levels. My favorite part has to be where Gabbie visits with Van Gogh and the other artists in the Temple of Artistic Endeavors, and works with their guidance on her idea for a mural. Caplin also addresses the very serious issue of bullying and the profound impact it can have on children and adults' lives. Caplin's characters are well-defined and personable, except for the mean and somewhat awful bully, Melissa. The illustrations that appear throughout the text are fabulous, especially the very spooky one of Gabbie at the gate of St. Anne's reform school with her very scary escorts. I had a lot of fun reading Gabbie Flowers and the Key to the Universe and am looking forward to reading about her further adventures. Gabbie Flowers and the Key to the Universe is most highly recommended.