Scribbler of Dreams

by Mary E. Pearson

Published by Harcourt

223 pages, 2001

Age Level: Young Adult

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Journal of Truth

Reviewed by Lynne Remick


For Kaitlyn Malone, senior year can't start off any worse. She would rather attend high school anyplace, anywhere than a Crutchfield school, built on Crutchfield land, filled with Crutchfield descendants. Kaitlyn hates the Crutchfield branch of her family, as does her father, mother and sister. Hating the Crutchfields is a tradition that has been passed down from Malone to Malone for generations. The Crutchfields are the reason her family has no money for private school and that she and her sister Abby must attend Twin Oaks. The Crutchfields are the reason her father is in jail. And, with her father sentenced for the murder of Robert Crutchfield, she can't even be herself anymore. From now on, she's Kaitlyn Hampton.

While Kaitlyn Hampton struggles under her secret identity to exist in a Crutchfield world by day and in a difficult home by night, she finds solace in writing down her emotions in her journal.  

Writing in my journal -- it gave a place for all the words and feelings that bounced around in my head.  

A fear ... a dream -- often nothing at all -- but a glimpse, a shadow of something fleeting past my consciousness, something I couldn't grasp with my mind, but I can slow it down, bring it into focus if I ease the words across paper. Some people play soccer, some people jog, why shouldn't I "scribble," as Abby put it?

Kaitlyn finds nothing redeeming about Twin Oaks, except for the short time she spends in a quiet courtyard during lunch. There, she scribbles in her journal and explores her feelings, hopes and dreams. And there, she meets an artist who captures truth in his portraits -- a handsome senior named Bram.  

Through sharing afternoons in the courtyard, Kaitlyn Hampton and Bram learn that they have much in common. Now, with Bram in her life, the Crutchfield feud seems far behind her. Then, she discovers that Bram is not only a Crutchfield, but the son of Robert Crutchfield.  

Devastated, Kaitlyn keeps the truth to herself. She hates the Crutchfields, but loves Bram. Is it possible to do both? A soul-seeking exploration into her family's past provides Kaitlyn with the key to forgiveness. But then there's Bram, who hates the Malones as much as she hates the Crutchfields, if not more!

It has been said that "true love conquers all," but will it mend an age-old vendetta that caused Bram to lose his father to death and Kaitlyn to lose hers to prison?

Scribbler of Dreams provides an enlightening look at how hatred affects all those it touches. In this outstanding story of love, hate, lies and truths, Mary Pearson shows us that we must all, like Kaitlyn, force ourselves to look underneath the exterior and search until we find the truth. Then, we must come to our own conclusions. For this reason alone, Scribbler merits the distinction of an entirely worthwhile read for young adults.

Pearson clearly paints a captivating family portrait which can be viewed from all angles. Pearson crafts believable, three-dimensional characters with real motivations, whether those motivations are right or wrong. A riveting plot grabs hold of the reader from the very first page and doesn't let up, even once, until the last page is turned. | August 2001

An avid reader, established reviewer and writer of poetry, non-fiction, fiction, historical romance and children's books, Lynne Remick can always be found with a book in her hand. She lives in New York with her fiancé Michael, her son Kevin, her Schipperke Dante, a feral cat named Sahara and a spoiled hedgehog named Nike. There, in a little house once owned by her great grandparents, she reads, writes stories, book reviews, writing columns and poetry.