Good morning my well-read poppets! Today I have a syllabic haiku for a lyrical story as well as TWO copies of said story to give away to TWO of you lucky well-read poppets! The book for today is a beautiful, uplifting, mysterious, questing sort of story perfect for the middle-grader in your life, or the middle-grader in your psyche. Nightbird by Alice Hoffman is that rare creature of modern publishing: an original story featuring the familiar themes of magic and friendship. I was lucky enough to receive two copies of the book from Simon and Schuster Australia – one that I won, and one for review – and so I now have two copies of this sweet little tale to pass on to you. Let’s crack on!
Twig lives in Sidwell, where people whisper that fairy tales are real. After all, her town is rumored to hide a monster. And two hundred years ago, a witch placed a curse on Twig’s family that was meant to last forever. But this summer, everything will change when the red moon rises. It’s time to break the spell.
In dappled moonlight
an ancient curse finds freedom
hidden things revealed
I shan’t give anything away about the tale, but if you look closely at the cover you may be able to pick up some hints about the magical twist that keeps Twig separate from the other kids in her town. This was a really unexpected read as the blurb doesn’t reflect the many complex goings-on in Twig’s life that started two-hundred years ago with a witch’s curse and are still being played out in Twig’s day-to-day business.
Hoffman has created a tale that is both tightly woven and lyrically expressed in Nightbird. The story is a strangely satisfying hybrid of ordinary “odd-kid-out-finds-friendship” fare mixed with “magic-and-witches-and-curses” in small town America. I particularly enjoyed how the author hasn’t tried to over-reach with trying to make the book action-packed or overly exciting – the tone and pace perfectly match the laid-back vibe of life in the country for a kid who’s a little bit lonely, and acutely aware of the reasons why her family must stand apart from the ordinary goings on of town life.
Nightbird has all the elements of a good “this truly might have happened” sort of magical tale. There’s the historical influence, of ancient acts that are still being played out by innocent parties, there are spells, and a mysterious journal that could help solve all of Twig’s problems, as well as one or two adults who might be more than they appear. I’d recommend this for lovers of middle grade fantasy that has a gentle pace coupled with a spirited heart.
Now, to winning! I have two print copies to give away – one for international readers and one specifically for Australian readers. Aussies, you can enter the International giveaway too if you want to double your chances! To enter, click on the relevant Rafflecopter links below:
For International Readers
For Australian Readers
I can’t wait to share the love and send these little babies off to some new forever homes, so get clicking and entering. Good luck!
Until we meet again, may all your happy dreams grow wings and take flight,