Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Review: Grayling's Song by Karen Cushman

When Grayling’s mother, wise woman Hannah Strong, starts turning into a tree, Hannah sends Grayling to call “the others” for help.

It's time for Grayling to be a hero. Her mother, a “wise woman”—a sort of witch—has been turned into a tree by evil forces. Tangles and toadstools! Lacking confidence after years of being called “Feeble Wits” by her mother, Grayling heads off dubiously into the wilds in search of help, where she finds a weather witch, an aromatic enchantress, a cheese soothsayer, a slyly foolish apprentice, and a shape-shifting mouse named Pook!

A fast-paced and funny coming-of-age odyssey from a Newbery medalist.

 Hardcover, 224 pages
 Published June 7th 2016 by Clarion Books
arc from publisher via netgalley

The first thing that came to mind while reading this book was the fairy tale feeling.  It was fun, enchanting, mysterious and highly entertaining.  As much as I love children's book I don't read them that often, I grabbed this one because of a previous experience with this author.

Karen Cushman also wrote Newbery Medal winner The Midwife's Apprentice (which I enjoyed).  When I compare this writing style and pose I found them totally different, yet similar - does that make sense?  Grayling's Song was not historical fiction like previous one and the author dawned a different style here.  With language I found conducive to a fairy tale, with dialogue enchanting and at times unnatural in the real world but works perfectly here.  

Grayling has been put down by her own mother for far too long and during this journey she changes and is able to discover herself.  I was sad to see Grayling's Song end and wish to see where life takes her next.

I read the ebook version and I feel it would be perfect in hardcover with wonderful illustrations to depict the interesting sounding scenes,  landscape as well as the various characters that help her along on this journey to self discovery.

Thank you to Houghton Mufflin Harcourn Children's Book Group for a complimentary copy (via netgalley).


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