By Alice Hoffman
Print Length: 208 pages
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (March 10, 2015)
Sold by: Random House LLC
Digital ARC free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Random House for the copy.
I think this just became one of my new favorite stories. This is a magical tale full of what makes a story stay with you forever. The main character Twig is thirteen living in Sidwell Massachusetts, with her Mother at their family’ apple orchard planted by Johnny Appleseed himself two hundred years before. All she wants is to have a friend, but she lives like a shadow never talking to others, or hanging out with other kids her age until two girls move in next door and she falls out of the tree breaking her arm.
What happens next is pure storytelling magic. This tale has mystery, and tragedy, and love, and owls, and a monster. There are moments of joy, and all supporting characters are relevant. I love how the plot twists and comes back to an older story repeating itself. It should appeal to both girls and boys, though it is told from Twig’ perspective. I feel most lower to upper elementary students will enjoy this tale of friendship and finding yourself.
A favorite children’ movie of mine when I was about the same age as our heroine stated
“You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming?” ~Hook (1991)
I think this is a book all about remembering to dream, and that is a precious thing. I don’t normally read dedications or editors notes before reading a book because I want to read it with fresh eyes. This time I went back and read Ms. Hoffman” dedication. And I heartily agree with her. Books can save your life, and books can remind us that there is magic in this world. I will be buying a physical copy of this book for my home library, and our school library will be adding this to our collection as well.