The Feral Child by Che Golden
Maddy’s parents died recently, so she is sent to Ireland to live with her grandparents. She misses London and her friends dreadfully and doesn’t like her cousins or the town of Blarney. Though she has been told not to enter the grounds of the castle in town, she does anyway one evening because she is so angry and just doesn’t care. She stays longer than she means to when her grandparent’s dog George runs off. It is then that she meets a strange boy. That same boy returns to her house later, tapping at the window and asking Maddy to join him, but she refuses to go to the window at all, because she has realized that he is not what he seems to be. When the boy goes to her neighbor and steals their little boy from out of his bedroom window, Maddy sees it all. But with a changeling in the little boy’s place, no one even knows he is actually missing. It is up to Maddy, her cousins, and George the dog to save him, because no one else can. They must enter the faerie realm to do so and face incredible dangers on their quest.
Golden manages to not actually modernize the faeries and their world, which is quite refreshing. Instead what you have in this middle-grade novel is a modern girl thrust into the strange and timeless world of the faeries. She takes the most menacing and amazing parts of folklore and brings them fully to life, creating a dazzling array of faeries and beasts as the children travel. The dangers are brutally displayed and there are times when death is so close, readers will be amazing that the characters survive.
Maddy is not a particularly likeable character at first in the novel, nor are her cousins. Maddy is the main protagonist and undergoes a believable transformation into heroine as the novel goes on. The same can be said for one of her cousins who comes out of her shell and into her own. The other cousin, the bully, has too easy a transformation and it happens a bit to early in the book as well. But that is a quibble in an impressive faerie tale.
Faeries, Ireland and an amazing quest all come together to create a book that is frightening, riveting and a rip-roaring read. Appropriate for ages 10-12.
Reviewed from copy received from Quercus.
Here’s the first full-length trailer for the new movie version of Paddington. I must admit as a Downton Abbey fan, I’m so happy to see Hugh Bonneville in this. Yet it seems to have a very different vibe than the books by Michael Bond. I think I have to see more before I make a decision about it:
So what do you think?
Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I think are cool:
10 Books For Kids Who Hate Reading| Lisa Graff | http://buff.ly/1hR6QUW
25 Books That Diversify Kids’ Reading Lists This Summer | MindShift http://buff.ly/1uFHLOL
Beloved Children’s Book Editor Frances Foster Dies at 83 | School Library Journal http://buff.ly/SQdUoK
#SummerReading List For Kids : NPR Ed : NPR http://buff.ly/1tU8x3E #kidlit
Iconic Italian Graphic Artist Bruno Munari’s Rare Vintage “Interactive” Picture-Books | Brain Pickings http://buff.ly/1hRcVAM
Peter Sis and his editor Margaret Ferguson discuss The Pilot and the Little Prince. http://buff.ly/1kDgOth
Susan Marie Swanson on Poetry for Children http://buff.ly/Tw7tIg
#poetry # kidlit
Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Reading This Summer by Jami Spaulding | Nerdy Book Club http://buff.ly/1s1qVMc
Why adults shouldn’t be embarrassed to read children’s books | Children’s books http://buff.ly/1ikbncZ
James Patterson: Digital revolution threatens American literature http://buff.ly/1ovhsZO
Dylan’s Desk: Watch this multi-billion-dollar industry evaporate overnight | VentureBeat – http://buff.ly/1hMn15S
In win for libraries, court rules database of Google-scanned books is “fair use” — Tech News and Analysis http://buff.ly/1hMP6dk
Librarians – A Celebration by Justin Stygles | Nerdy Book Club http://buff.ly/1s1rh5J
High School Principal Cancels Entire Reading Program To Stop Students From Reading Cory Doctorow’s ‘Little Brother’ http://buff.ly/1ovhBwe
How Reality Became the Hot New Thing in YA http://buff.ly/1uXXgBQ
I Think, Therefore I Swear| Brian Conaghan | http://buff.ly/1hR6Y6I
Ten reasons why it is okay to read YA http://buff.ly/1ihOKpy
This Is Why Young Adult Books Are Not Only Acceptable, But Beneficial For Adults http://buff.ly/1hR71iV
What YA Gives Me That Other Genres Don’t Hint: It’s Not Embarrassment | Book Reviews & Recommendations http://buff.ly/SQcbQi
A Young Adult Author’s Fantastic Crusade to Defend Literature’s Most Maligned Genre | Nerve http://buff.ly/SL6Idu