Monday, November 12, 2018

Two Candlewick Press Children's Books Worth The Read

By Allison Rushby
ISBN: 9780763696856 / July 2018 / ages 8-12 / 256 pages

Grade range:
Grade 3 - Grade 7
Historical; Mysteries & Detective Stories; Ghost Stories;

“Themes of family and love permeate this supernatural novel. Rushby builds suspense throughout, culminating in a heart-pounding climactic scene.” – School Library Journal

Flossie Birdwhistle is the Turnkey at London’s Highgate Cemetery. As Turnkey, it’s Flossie’s job to ensure that all the souls buried in the cemetery stay at rest. Not an easy job for a young ghost, but a task made especially difficult by World War II: London is being attacked every night by enemy bombers, and even the dead are unsettled. When Flossie encounters the ghost of a German soldier carrying a mysterious object that seems to exist in both the living and spirit worlds, she becomes suspicious—what is the officer up to? Before long, Flossie uncovers a sinister plot that could destroy not only her cemetery, but also her beloved country. Can Flossie and her ghostly friends stop the soldier before it’s too late? History collides with the supernatural in this exciting, ethereal mystery from Allison Rushby.

The 411:

This historical/supernatural/mystery read was interesting and a fast read. Our main character Flossie is the Turnkey at a London Cemetery. Her job is to make sure that all the "dead" in the cemetery are comfortable enough to remain resting.  There is a sweet moment when one young girl misses her dolls so Flossie heads to her own home to bring one over even though it is not something that is easy or comfortable. Flossie has a director that she can go to when she needs assistance who appears to her in fox form based on a fox she knew from her life. As if being a Turnkey isn't enough for a young girl, WW2 has the souls unsettled and Flossie has a mystery to deal with when she spots a German Soldier who has the ability to travel between the world of the living and the dead.

I enjoyed the mix of supernatural with the historical yet fictional twist and the "ghost stories" of the sleeping and "in-between souls. Flossie is a wonderful role model who takes her job seriously and goes above and beyond for her "friends"

To Purchase:

By Celine Kiernan
ISBN: 9780763699963 / September 2018 / ages 9-12 / 288 pages

«“Kiernan has crafted something at once familiar and delightfully surprising with this fantasy quest.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

On the night that Aunty dies, the raggedy witches come for Mup’s family. Pale, cold, and relentless, the witches will do anything for the tyrannical queen who has outlawed most magic and enforces her laws with terror and cruelty—and who happens to be Mup’s grandmother. When witches carry off her dad, Mup and her mam leave the mundane world to rescue him. But everything is odd in the strange, glittering Witches Borough, even Mam. Even Mup herself. In a world of rhyming crows, talking cats, and golden forests, it’s all Mup can do to keep her wits about her. And even if she can save her dad, Mup’s not sure if anything will ever be the same again. First in a new trilogy by Irish author Celine Kiernan, this tale of family and forbidden magic charts a fresh path through the landscape of beloved fantasy tradition—and promises to bewitch any reader in search of stories to love.

The 411:

This was a quick read about that mixes good and evil together into a magical fantasy. When Mup's Aunty dies life as she knows it quickly changes.  With Aunty gone the protection Mup's Mam had as the daughter of mean queen of Witches Borough has been lifted. The witches are here to claim her and will do anything to get her to come over including kidnapping Mup's dad. 

I found the book interesting, funny and intense at times. It was however a great read. Mup's brother is turned into a dog, Mup's new friend was a boy but is now a crow that must speak in rhymes and Mup has powers she never imagined.  The character of Mup is a wonderful role model for young girls. She puts family first and shows such strength when others around her are wavering. 

To Purchase:
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

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