Headless Cupid

Snyder, Zilphia Keatley. The Headless Cupid. New York: Atheneum, 1971.

I have to admit I felt kind of funny reading this while waiting for my spa appointment. Women around me were reading Cosmopolitan and Women’s Day while I was nose-deep in a story for kids (illustrated no less)!

The Headless Cupid is a really cute grade school book about a poltergeist. Sort of. After the divorce of her parents twelve year old Amanda has come to live with her mother. Only everything about Amanda’s new life is horrible. She has a new stepfather and four step-siblings to contend with, not to mention the fact she has been uprooted from her city life and transplanted in the country, an hour away from any “town.” Needless to say, Amanda comes to the Stanley household with a baggage. To compensate for her unhappiness Amanda studies witchcraft and the occult. She convinces the four Stanley children to be her “neophytes” and go through a series of “ordeals” to join her in magic making. As a Newbery Honor book, The Headless Cupid is about family dynamics. Any child going through a divorce would relate to the pain, anger and confusion Amanda in going through. I won’t tell you how she finally learns to accept her new family, but suffice it to say it’s a cute book.

I didn’t have any favorite lines or sentences that grabbed me, but I did have a favorite part. One of the “ordeals” the Stanley children must go through in order to join Amanda’s occult is to not touch metal all day. David, the oldest boy is very creative in how he is able to get dressed (zippers), open doors (handles), and eat (silverware).

Author Fact: Snyder has won three Newbery Awards (one being for The Headless Cupid. Wait. I said that already.

Book Trivia: The Headless Cupid is the first in a series of books about the Stanley family. I don’t think I read any of the other books in the series. Bummer. I liked this one.

BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Best for Boys and Girls” (p 22).

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