The Girl with the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts. Scholastic, 1980.
This book appeared in several of the wonderful themed lists put out by Stephanie at Views from the Tesseract, a personal favorite from her own childhood. I’d never read it, so I snatched up a used copy when it came my way. Katie has glasses and silver eyes that make everyone uncomfortable around her, even her mother. Though she doesn’t tell them she has telekinesis, everyone still blames her when things go wrong, whether or not they’re her fault.
The story follows a short time period when Katie has moved back in with her mother after the death of her grandmother, who had been caring for her. It’s far from smooth – her mother’s boyfriend won’t use her name, a rude apartment adult neighbor verbally bullies Katie and hits on the beautiful single woman nearby, while Katie is basically trapped in the apartment. But then Katie finds a hint that there might be other children like her and sets out to find them. It didn’t feel like a large, satisfying plot or character arc to me – but it was satisfying on a smaller level to see Katie succeed in finding a place to belong. This felt like it could work well for readers on the younger end of the middle grade spectrum, looking for low fantasy closely integrated into the regular world. Though the plot is very different, Stephanie’s love for this book reminds me strongly of my own feelings for Parsley Sage, Rosemary and Time by Jane Louise Curry, a book which has a permanent place on my shelf in honor of all the times I read it as a child, even if I saw quite a few holes in it when I tried reading it to my son.