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Keeping Cool: The Callahan Cousins #3    by Elizabeth Doyle Carey order for
Keeping Cool
by Elizabeth Doyle Carey
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Four Callahan cousins - Hillary the athletic tomboy, exotic Neeve, smart, sophisticated Phoebe, and Kate the sensitive, daydreaming homebody - continue their summer adventures at grandmother Gee's on Gull Island (off the New England coast). This episode is narrated by Kate, who's been pushed out of her comfort zone in the cousins' prior adventures. But Elizabeth Doyle Carey says this about Kate - 'Pink roses were her trademark - girly and sweet, but hardier than she realized.'

As the story opens, Gee asks her granddaughters to help solicit donations for an auction and raffle in aid of an annual benefit, whose proceeds go to a medical clinic on the island. Though Kate hates the idea, she agrees with a smile. But then an unpleasant Sloan warns her to stay away from all the places where she 'has connections.' When the girls split up to seek donations, Sloan is ahead of Kate everywhere she goes. Kate feels like a loser, decides she needs a makeover, and enlists her cousins' help. She also admires the cool Sloan and starts to hang out with her, making the others angry.

Kate begins to realize that Sloan has her own vulnerabilities - is lonely, feels rejected by her mother, longs for friendship - and she gradually discovers courage and the worth of her own talents. At the same time, Gee advises Kate on how to measure herself in life, and how to build confidence. Like the previous Callahan Cousins episodes, Keeping Cool entertains while imparting solid values.

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