Scribbler of Dreams
(2002) is a young adult novel by Mary E. Pearson. Pearson won a Golden Kite Award in 2006 for her novel A Room on Lorelei Street
and was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award in 2008.
Kaitlin Malone, the main character of Scribbler of Dreams
, is embroiled in a family feud with the Crutchfield family. Kaitlin and her younger sister, Abby begin high school at the same school as the Crutchfield children, using their mother’s maiden name. Eighteen months before the start of the book, Kaitlin’s father killed the Crutchfield patriarch and is in jail.
Having previously attended a small private school, Kaitlin and Abby feel overwhelmed by the public school environment. Kaitlin notices a popular boy named Bram who also seems to want to be alone. The two meet and develop feelings for each other. However, Kaitlin does not know that Bram is a Crutchfield, and Bram does not know that she is a Malone. When Kaitlin finally learns the truth, she runs off but ultimately decides that she can’t deny her feelings for Bram.
Bram and Kaitlin begin dating, though Kaitlin is careful not to tell Bram who she really is. She thinks that he will understand, but wants to continue to develop their relationship first. Bram invites Kaitlin to his house, and Kaitlin goes along, interested to find out what the other Crutchfields are like. Bram lives in a wealthy area, unlike Kaitlin’s family who are farmers barely making ends meet since Kaitlin’s father was arrested.
Kaitlin has a wonderful afternoon at the Crutchfield house. She also learns of the existence of a number of documents related to Crutchfield and Malone family history that are stored in the garage. Kaitlin and Bram explore the documents together and Bram expresses his deep hatred of the Malones. Kaitlin starts to cry, but then Bram kisses her. He tells Kaitlin that he is in love with her, and Kaitlin feels guilty for lying to him. However, she still cannot tell him the truth because she feels that her identity as a Malone is tied up in hating the Crutchfields.
Later, Bram and Kaitlin go for a drive and Bram shows her where his father died. He explains that his father left late at night during a storm to save a pumping station, cutting across Malone land. Kaitlin’s father confronted Bram’s father about driving through their crops and Bram’s father was killed accidentally.
Kaitlin reads a diary she found in the Crutchfield garage. She learns that the family feud dates back to 1870 when one of the Crutchfield daughters cheated with her sister’s husband, Jared Malone and had a child out of wedlock. The feud seems silly to her, making Kaitlin want to tell Bram the truth even more. However, she continues to lie.
Two boys at school find out Kaitlin’s identity and blackmail her into writing their term papers. Abby also finds out and shouts at Kaitlin about her betrayal, though she agrees not to tell their parents yet. One day, while over at the Crutchfield house, Kaitlin is surprised to see the foreman of the Malone farm, Rick. He seems to be close with Allison, Bram’s widowed mother. Kaitlin suspects that Rick knows something about the night Bram’s father was killed and begins investigating him.
Meanwhile, Kaitlin’s father is released from jail and comes home. He tells Kaitlin that the family may have to sell a section of their farm to the Crutchfields, and Kaitlin knows that this is the land Allison has had her eye on so that she can sell the plot to a development company. Kaitlin knows that Rick is somehow involved and is doing something to ensure the Crutchfields will get the land they want.
Kaitlin finally discovers documents in Rick’s office that show he has been trying to poison the Malone tomato crop, forcing them to sell the land. The poison he has purchased would render the crops poisonous, ruining the Malone name. Kaitlin confronts Rick, and her father fires him. Kaitlin is finally forced to explain to her parents that she knew about the plot because she is dating Bram. Kaitlin’s father understands, but her mother does not think Kaitlin’s relationship with Bram can last.
The next day, Kaitlin goes to a party at the Crutchfield house. Rick shows up and tells Bram the truth about Kaitlin’s identity. Furious, Bram storms off. Kaitlin returns the jewelry that Bram gave her. Back at school, Kaitlin takes revenge on the boys who have been blackmailing her and receives a scholarship for her grades. She makes up with her family and with Becky. Finally, Bram tells Kaitlin that he still loves her and they reconcile.