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**"Luminous, empowering, and full of heart-healing truths, this is a novel that belongs on every shelf."*—*Katherine Applegate, Newbery Award winning author
For fans of Crenshaw and When You Trap a Tiger comes the extraordinary tale of a headstrong girl and the magical dictionary she hopes will explain the complicated feelings she can't find the right words for—or erase them altogether.**
Zia remembers the exact night the Shadoom arrived. One moment she was laughing with her best friends, and the next a dark room of shadows had crept into her chest. Zia has always loved words, but she can’t find a real one for the fear growing inside her. How can you defeat something if you don’t know its name?
After Zia’s mom announces that her grouchy Greek yiayia is moving into their tiny apartment, the Shadoom seems here to stay. Until Zia discovers an old family heirloom: the C. Scuro Dictionary, 13th Edition.
This is no ordinary dictionary. Hidden within its magical pages is a mysterious blue eraser shaped like an evil eye. When Zia starts to erase words that remind her of the Shadoom, they disappear one by one from the world around her. She finally has the confidence to befriend Alice, the new girl in sixth grade, and to perform at the Story Jamboree. But things quickly dissolve into chaos, as the words she erases turn out to be more vital than Zia knew.
In this raw, funny, and at times heartbreaking middle grade debut, Bree Barton reveals how—with the right kind of help—our darkest moments can nudge us toward the light.