The Fortune Tellers Club (Books 1-5) - Dotti Enderle
The Fortune Tellers Club is a delightful series by professional storyteller Dotti Enderle. This series, geared towards ages 9-12, features three best friends--Juniper Lynch, Anne Donovan, and Gena Richmond--who use divination to solve mysteries, explain relationships, and understand life experiences.

The Lost Girl is the first book of the series, where we're introduced to the Fortune Tellers Club. Gena has lost her retainer, and she knows her Dad will be furious! She calls upon the other two members of the Club to help divine the location of the retainer. They tried to use an Ouija board, but with no success. Juniper decides to gaze into a bowl of water (a form of scrying) but instead of seeing Gena's lost retainer, she sees the gaunt face of a mysterious young girl! They soon find out that a local girl, Laurie Simmons, is missing. Is Laurie the girl that Juniper saw in the bowl? Will divination help them find the missing girl?

Playing With Fire is book 2 of the series, and is told from the perspective of Anne, a cheerleader at Avery Middle School. Anne has a crush on Eric, the gorgeous star of Avery's football team. She asks her fellow members to do a Tarot reading to see if Eric likes her...and if she has any chance with him. Using a 4 card spread, the reading is amazingly accurate--but it's not until later they realize just how much. A series of mysterious fires have the fire department stumped--and The Fortune Tellers Club happens to witness one of the fires first hand. Using divination techniques such as reading the ashes, the girls are determined to get to the bottom of these fires--and find out if Eric has something to do with them!

The Magic Shades is book 3 of the Fortune Tellers Club series and is told from the perspective of Gena Richmond. Gena is a tomboy who plays volleyball, and the jokester of the group. It's hard for her to take anything seriously! However, when she picks up a pair of cat-eye sunglasses in a thrift store and sees the future, she doesn't find anything funny about it! Will the woman in the thrift shop fall off a ladder? Will Anne become blind? Is her Dad's girlfriend snooping through her things? Gena becomes obsessed with the information she receives via the special sunglasses--but is she really seeing clearly?

Secrets of Lost Arrow is book 4 of the series, and is told from the perspective of Juniper Lynch. Juniper has a true gift of seeing the future, and founded the Fortune Tellers Club in elementary school. She's an honor student, attends dance classes, and collects divination tools. In this book, Juniper invites Anne and Gena to her grandmother's house in the town of Lost Arrow for Spring break. It doesn't take long for Juniper to realize that her Nan is acting strangely when the sun goes down. Why is her grandmother sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night? What is that mysterious glow over the cemetery that creeps toward Nan's house? Does the legend of Chief Lightfoot have anything to do with the swamp gas? Using Gena's handmade divination tool "The Genie", as well as some old fashioned sleuthing, Juniper gets to the bottom of the mysterious happenings at Lost Arrow.

Hand of Fate is book 5 in the series and is told from the perspective of Anne. Anne is psyched! She's on her way to cheerleading camp, and just knows she'll win Cheerleader of the Year! Just moments before she was about to leave, a freak car accident leaves her with an injured leg--and stuck at home. Anne is disappointed and angry. Who's to blame for this? Someone must be at fault! A funeral procession was taking place at the time of the accident; Anne concludes that it's the dead lady's fault. Driven to find out about the nature of fate and the woman who died, she begins a quest for answers. Gena and Juniper make a divination tool out of a glove and give it to Anne as a present. However, is Anne prepared for the life-changing answers she will get?

I admit, I wasn't big on this first book. I thought the characters were flat and the story so-so. I almost stopped at Book 1, but decided to give Book 2 a chance. I'm glad I did! Books 2-5 are fast-paced and interesting, and the characters are fleshed out nicely. Not only are we given a better sense of the girls' personality, but also home life, interests, and strengths. Also, the series portrays real-life conflicts, especially with relationships, which young girls will readily identify with. For example, Anne is friends with "The Snotty Twins" who are fellow cheerleaders. However, Anne's friends don't like Gena and Juniper--and the feeling is mutual from the other two members of the Club!

A wonderful aspect of The Fortune Tellers Club series is that author Dottie Enderle introduces a wide array of divination methods, and often explains how they are used. Her descriptions of Tarot cards are accurate but age-appropriate, and she shows how divination can be used by youth for every day guidance.

I'm a fan of good juvenile fiction, and read this genre for relaxation. I thoroughly enjoyed books 2-5 and highly recommend them for girls 9-12, as well as adults that enjoy mysteries and divination in this genre.

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