Out of all of the "Circle of Magic" books, this is my least favorite. While I enjoyed having all four back together again, I found the writing to be a bit stilted and not nearly as good as in the previous 8 books or the 2 that follow. But, it does provide some background information for later books so it's still somewhat important to read it.
I really enjoy this author's writing, but I didn't feel like this one was as good as some of the others that he's written. It wasn't *bad*, it just didn't live up to his other books in the series. Nonetheless, it's a fun read and keeps you interested.
I originally picked this book up because I left the book I was currently reading at home and I needed something to read on my lunch hour. I found it to be a fascinating account of the author & photographer's 5 days on the Rouge River. Very few people in current times have ever canoed the Rouge River because the pollution and debris jams make it almost impossible. Millions of dollars have been spent on making the Rouge River less polluted, but as you'll see in this book, there's still a lot of work left to be done.
The photographs in this book are fabulous. A wide array of scenes from wildlife to the wooded banks of the river to some of the pollution that can be observed. If you are at all interested in rivers, canoeing, wildlife or ecology, I recommend this book for future reading. I really enjoyed it.
Tris is my favorite of the four protagonists in this series by Ms. Pierce. I can really relate to her as she is overweight and wears glasses and is considered somewhat of an "oddity". In this book, Tris starts to learn just how important it is for her to get control over her magic so things don't happen accidentally. She also learns an important lesson about the family she's adopted at Winding Circle and her family of origin when her favorite cousin falls under the power of a pirate because of his greed.
Again, I feel this book is excellent for tweens as well as teens. It's an "easier" introduction into teen fiction. It's very easy to relate to without being heavy on sex or gruesome violence. There is certainly violence in the book when they are fighting the pirates, but it is tastefully done.
I thoroughly enjoy all of the Winding Circle books with Sandry and her friends. This is a good start to the series as it provides a bit of back story on all of the children and how they came to live in the cottage, "Discipline", with Lark & Rosethorn.
I'm not sure "Sandry's book" is really the best title for this book, though I realize Ms. Pierce probably chose it to go with the rest of the series' titles, "Tris's Book", "Daja's Book", & "Briar's Book", but really, this book is about all the children and there's only a small portion of the book that concentrates solely on Sandry. While all four of these books encompass all of the children, I feel like this one contains the least amount about its supposed subject compared to the others.
Still it's an excellent start to the series and I think that even though it's classified as "Teen", those who are in the tween ages, 10-12 or so, would also enjoy this series and many of Ms. Pierce's books.