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A finely-crafted tale, reminiscent of some early Philippa Pearce work. A boy 'invents' a panther in the woods by faking a paw print and has to live with, and through, the implications of a deceit. The ideas are deep; the surface story accessible. There's some splendid characterisation: not least, the hero's sister, Cindy, and the well-depicted community. The adults are unusually well-rounded in their foibles. I liked the teacher who wants to turn everything into a 'theme' and the brash TV professionals who sniff out a scoop whilst ignoring people's feelings. A fresh, lively storytelling voice who appeals to eights to elevens; super cover and pictures; too.