It is a great female twist on old world adventures of castles, magic and the little people. Barnhill has included so many elements from tried and true tales and given us Violet the not so beautiful princess. Violet does not fit into the mold of what we have thought to be a “true” princess. She is scrappy, curious, and willing to make friends with anyone, even the stable boy.
These two young adventurers find themselves at the heart of saving the last dragon and the world as they know it. There is family love and loss. There is the thirteenth god who is cunning and evil but appears to be kind and in need. There is the struggle to accept who we are and what we look like. Sometimes being a beautiful princess with long hair and tiny feet is not the best idea.
This story would be a great read aloud while students are reading and writing their own fantasy novels. It couldn’t be more different and yet so familiar an adventure. I am excited to return to my reading of The Witch’s Boy this week having had this wonderful taste of Barnhill’s work.
Kate Di Camillo has a new book coming on August 26th. She is pulling forward a small character from the Mercy Watson books. A favorite book with the early readers. Leroy Ninker Saddles Up has great characters and a good sense of humor. It is sure to make you laugh. Leroy wants so much to be a cowboy. He has all he needs but the horse. When he does acquire his horse Maybeline, she is not what he was expecting. He was looking for a horse fitting the name of Tornado but Maybeline is a horse with quirky needs to love and care for in her old age. LeRoy and Maybeline learn together how to trust and be a family.
This book would work as a quick read aloud for a young group who love Mercy Watson books. Kate has used a pretty high vocabulary but the story structure, content and images are more appealing to the first and second grade reader. Chris Van Dusen teams up with her to give this book perfect images that also give it an appeal to the reader just stepping into chapter books. It leaves me wondering what its best target age is since the vocabulary is more fitting the upper 3rd and 4th grade reader or higher but everything else is for the littler ones.
On the Reading pile for this week:
- The Witch’s Boy- new from Kelly Barnhill
- Hope Springs – new from Eric Walters
- Bad Magic – new from pseudonymous bosch