Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? American middle schoolers, Tess and her brother Max, have been sent to live in the English countryside with their Aunt Evie. Their father, a war correspondent is in Afghanistan, and while the children are told their mother is working on a book, she is actually ill. Stuck in a place lacking wifi they are anticipating complete boredom. But then Tess comes across a mysterious gate in the middle of nowhere and discovers a young boy named William who lives in a castle. Tess returns, bringing Max along, and William introduces them to his nanny. The four enter a wondrous sculpture garden that comes to life and ride a magical Mary Poppins like carousel with horses that gallop through the fields. The only thing they must do is “…be careful of the hawthorn trees.” Tess must gather her courage on the mysterious night when both a blood and a blue moon occur and Max falls into the hawthorn hedge. This is an enchanting story about wishes and family, magic and love.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? Readers who love Edward Eager’s books including Half Magic and the classic The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett will love this book. Hand it to children who love magic and fairies.
Who should buy this book? Public Libraries and elementary and middle school libraries
Where would you shelve it? Fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA
Date of review: 7/26/17