What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

A Visit to Folly Castle
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SOLVED: Children's/YA > SOLVED. Children's book: neighbour family move in and have strange powers. Spoiler ahead. [s]

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (drsarah) | 126 comments I read this as a child, so probably in the 70s, possibly the early 80s.

I think the protagonist was called Emma, but I'm not sure. A family move in next door and the protagonist makes friends with their daughter, who I'm pretty sure was named Cassandra and called Sandra for short. The protagonist finds out that her new friend has strange powers; she can walk on water (very briefly) and has a 'mood window' in her room which she can control with her moods. However, her powers are actually very weak compared to those of her parents, and she's something of an embarrassment to them. (The shortening of her name to an ordinary name was connected to that.)


The protagonist has a younger brother called something like Johnny or Jimmy. The neighbour family discover that he actually has the same sorts of powers as them, and they hatch a plot to kidnap him. The plan is to create a copy of him and connect the two together to load the real boy's memories into the copy, so that the copy can be sent back to the parents while the neighbours make off with the real one. The copy won't be convincing enough to fool the parents for long, so the plan is also for him to die fairly soon afterwards from an illness that 'Sandra' remembers as 'leu-something' and 'Emma' (who wants to be a doctor) figures out is leukaemia.

'Emma' is of course horrified by this plan and, with 'Sandra's' reluctant help, manages to get her brother back before the transfer of memories has gone too far. There's a moment after that when she realises with horror that she may have taken the fake instead of the real one; to check this, she asks him about something that happened at a point that the fake wouldn't know about and he knows the correct answer, so she knows she has the right one.

I think the book then ended with the neighbours moving away as their plan had failed.

I've used British spelling here, but I have a vague feeling the book was actually American. Can't be sure of that, though.

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (drsarah) | 126 comments Oh, gosh! I've looked at some reviews on line and this certainly could be it, although the title isn't ringing a bell at all. I've just ordered a copy from Amazon, so after years of wondering I should hopefully know by next week!

message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (drsarah) | 126 comments I don't know why my comment updating this didn't get posted, but, yes, this was the right book. I'm so pleased to have found it after all these years - thank you!

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A Visit to Folly Castle (other topics)

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