by Daniel Phalen

THE CHUMASH CIRCLE introduces eleven-year-old Rose Doolittle, a girl who sees and hears things other people do not.

Following the strange behavior of an owl and the appearance of something she calls the "Dark Hunter," Rose is confronted by Noh-nah, a ghost woman who speaks an ancient language Rose mysteriously understands, and later Yuli, a Chumash Indian ghost who died in 1799 at age twenty but wants to be a surfer dude.

Fearful that she's going insane, Rose seeks the help of Tobin Lightfoot, a Chumash teenager who lives alone and ropes calves for a living. Tobin says her quest for answers is really a search for her own medicine, or personal power. Rose is on a perilous path, learning that being different is more blessing than curse.

As she copes with mystical forces from the unseen realm, Rose's love for the wilderness meets with intrigue, including a not-so-mystical gang of real ex-cons hiding stolen fair receipts a stone's throw from the Doolittle ranch.

When she decides to pursue the thieves on her own, Rose and Tobin are captured. With Tobin injured, Rose must walk a line between reality and magic, relying on her untested faith in Chumash spirit culture. Not in her wildest dreams is she prepared for what happens.


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