When a wounded wild rabbit is found in the front yard, he is given a good home and a memorable name by a twelve-year-old with a liking for basketball, the trombone, and the newspaper's daily horoscope. But Orwell is no ordinary rabbit. It soon seems that he is attempting to reward his young caretaker by mysteriously sending coded messages in the form of predictions: the final score of the Super Bowl, advance notice of a pop quiz at school, tomorrow's winning lottery number! Can this little rabbit foretell the future? Can Orwell actually make luck happen? Here is a magical and heartwarming story about kindness, friendship, and hope in the shadow of fortune's ever-turning wheel.
"Gr. 4^-7. When a 12-year-old girl (whose name we never learn) discovers an injured rabbit in her driveway, she adopts it, nurses it back to health, and names it Orwell. Then the magic starts. Orwell, it seems, is sending the girl coded messages via her favorite newspaper feature: the daily horoscope. Some are predictions (the final score of the next day's Super Bowl game); some are philosophy ("Things Only Seem Impossible Before They Happen"); and some are gentle hints ("Your Sister Wants You For A Friend" ). All of the messages invite the girl, who is thoughtful by nature, to ponder the mystery of Orwell. Why has he come, and what do his messages mean about life and luck, choice and chance, continuity and change? Never didactic, this absolutely captivating tale is about everyday magic, the sort of thing that E. Nesbit used to write, filled with quiet humor and seamless invention. The characters--the girl, her family and the boy with tousled hair who becomes her friend--are the sort that readers fall in love with; they are so natural, so unaffected, so . . . themselves. The girl sounds a bit sophisticated for her age, but her words so effortlessly capture the spirit of the story that readers will simply relax and enjoy her engaging freshness and wit. --Michael Cart"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Quirky details and a warm, precocious 12-year-old narrator add up to an engaging and imaginative novel. While the plot is seemingly straightforward, the unnamed narrator subtlyÄoccasionally too subtlyÄdivulges clues to the inner workings of her life. The story begins as she finds an injured rabbit in her front yard and works hard to help him recover. She feeds Orwell apples, plays him a concert on her trombone and eventually secures the aid of a kindly vet who restores movement to the rabbit's back legs. Orwell repays her by sending secret messages in the newspaper horoscopes, on the weather page and even in movie credits. Ranging from prophetic to practical to philosophical, the messages eventually teach her that "there is always more than one way of looking at things." Between Orwell's bulletins, the narrator off-handedly addresses less mystical dramas, such as her father's sudden unemployment and her loneliness at a new school. She delivers these details with great delicacy, as though she doesn't want to bother her audience ("My father's job during this troublesome time in our lives consisted primarily of buying lottery tickets"). The audience will have to study her words carefully to get the full picture, but the surface layer of the story is intriguing in and of itself. Ages 10-14. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved