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Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
Being different is hard for Keilann Douglas in Chicago, but even worse when the family moves to a small town in Scotland where her father takes a position at a university. Of mixed Ojibwa and Scottish heritage, Keilann discovers a gift drawn from both cultures – a sensitivity to dreams. Plagued by nightmares for months, Keilann is confronted by one of the figments in real life after she enters the circle of seven stones, one of many stone circles throughout the land that are said to contain spiritual energy. Each time she encounters this red-haired girl, she is drawn deeper and deeper into an unfolding story from Scotland’s past. Meanwhile, Keilann also suffers from the antagonism of school bully, Connor, and tries harder than ever to just blend in and go unnoticed. The plot of Seven Stones by Julia Lee centers around these physical and psychic challenges through which Keilann discovers she is not alone. Will she live up to her potential and overcome the obstacles preventing her from fitting in and enjoying her last year of high school?
Julia Lee has created wonderful, complex characters and placed them in an unconventional setting with special challenges in Seven Stones. Mixing two such diverse cultures that share a similar regard for the power of dreams is certainly unique and the background provided is interesting without becoming overwhelming. Many of the issues that plague teenagers are tackled with sensitivity and there is ample opportunity for the characters to grow, learning how to rise above the negative. Entertaining, engrossing and thought provoking, Seven Stones is an excellent story, well worth reading for many reasons.