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I'll Sing You One-O    by Nan Gregory order for
I'll Sing You One-O
by Nan Gregory
Order:  USA  Can
Clarion, 2006 (2006)

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* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Gemma, a twelve-year-old foster child, lives on the Anderson farm. She considers it home and the other children there her family. When the farm is put up for sale and new homes must be found for all the children, relatives she didn't know she had agree to take Gemma in.

Gemma dreams of being able to save the farm before it is sold and return there to live with her foster family and her pet chicken, Pippi Longstocking. Gemma decides that to do this she needs the help of an angel so she researches angels. Angels usually appear to saints so Gemma decides some saintly act on her part will win her an angel.

One saint she reads about fed the poor - which gives Gemma the idea to give her generous allowance to a street person. There are many to chose from, but she decides to help Willow, who can stand so still that wild birds will land on her to eat seed from her hand.

Gemma's impulsive actions hinder her acceptance of her new family. She is secretive and unable to share her feelings with this perfect family in their perfect house. Their perfect son Garnet is her twin brother but Gemma feels no kinship, especially after he lies when she saves him from bullies.

Gemma's ideas often fall apart when she puts them into action. Strong, determined and bright, Gemma leads the reader down a path of painful emotions. Garnet and Gemma have led different lives but both seek assurance that their biological mother loved them. The ending is pat, but reassuring.

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