The Pictish Child (Tartan Magic Series #2)

Overview

Even witches have to retire from magic sometime. When Peter, Jennifer, and their four-year-old sister, Molly, visit the Eventide Home, they find just what their gran promised: a coven of kindhearted, retired old witches. But on the heels of their visit, the children themselves are visited—by a Pictish girl fleeing a massacre more than a thousand years earlier. Evil forces are hunting the Pictish child, forces that have tracked her across centuries, bent on fulfilling the dark designs of a single mysterious person...
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Overview

Even witches have to retire from magic sometime. When Peter, Jennifer, and their four-year-old sister, Molly, visit the Eventide Home, they find just what their gran promised: a coven of kindhearted, retired old witches. But on the heels of their visit, the children themselves are visited—by a Pictish girl fleeing a massacre more than a thousand years earlier. Evil forces are hunting the Pictish child, forces that have tracked her across centuries, bent on fulfilling the dark designs of a single mysterious person in the Eventide Home.

While visiting relatives in Scotland, three children come to the aid of a refugee from the distant past, a young Pict girl escaping a massacre of her people.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Yolen still delivers."--Booklist
"The story moves quickly, and the characters, including a horse who speaks Pictish, are appealing. . . . A fun read for middle school fantasy lovers."--VOYA
"The action-packed plot is nearly as winding as the rain-drenched stone lanes of Gran's ancient village [and] . . . the story has a good dose of humor."--School Library Journal
Children's Literature
Twins Jennifer and Peter with their younger sister Molly have come from America to spend the summer with Gran and Da in Scotland. It rains most of the first week of their visit and they begin to run out of things to do. When Gran suggests an outing to Eventide Home to visit her elderly friends, the children don't think that sounds like much fun. But they grudgingly go along since they can't think of anything better to do. They never imagined what an adventure they were embarking on. They encounter witches, both bad and good, and hints of magic but they aren't prepared for what happens when they venture into the nearby cemetery. They meet a strangely dressed young girl who speaks a language none of them recognize. She turns out to be the Pictish child who has come from the far past to try to, well, to change her story and history. Following her is a dangerous mist that threatens all of them. This tale, that includes a horse and dog that talk, will keep the reader turning the page to find out what happens next. This is the second in Ms. Yolen's "Tartan Magic" series. Tantalizing references to incidents from the first book, The Wizard's Map, don't impede the story but do make the reader want to go back to read that book, as well. At the end is an intriguing glimpse of The Bagpiper's Ghost, the third book. The book includes a glossary of Scottish terms that might be unfamiliar to the reader. 1999, Magic Carpet Books/Harcourt,
— Janet Crane Barley
VOYA
On a rainy day in Scotland twins Jennifer and Peter and their little sister Molly go with Gran to visit three old friends at the Eventide Home. One of the old ladies gives Molly a talisman, a small stone carved with the picture of a bird on top of a snake. The talisman attracts both a timetraveling young girl from the ancient tribe of the Picts and a dark magical force. As the children work to return Ninia, the Pictish girl, to her own time, they must also protect themselves from the evil creeping mist. They discover that one of the old women at Eventide is a descendant of the first owner of the talisman and will be able to take Ninia home. However, the children must first rescue the women from their caretaker, who has them under a spell, before Mrs. MacAlpin can return Ninia to early Scotland. Although this is the second book of the Tartan Magic series, following The Wizard's Map (Harcourt, 1999/VOYA December 1999), it is not necessary to have read the first. Background is given to let the reader know what occurred previously. The story moves quickly, and the characters, including a horse who speaks Pictish, are appealing, although there is little character development. While not the best work of this prolific author, it will provide a fun read for middle school fantasy lovers. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 1999, Harcourt Brace, Ages 12 to 14, 144p, $15. Reviewer: Libby Bergstrom
KLIATT
Yolen has once again given us a fine new series of fantasy stories. Set in Scotland and populated by American children and Scottish family members, the story includes an old wizard and a member of the oldest race in Scotland. The wizard in The Wizard's Map is bent on regaining his power and rule over the land but twins Jennifer and Peter work together to stop him. In The Pictish Child, Jennifer discovers she has more magical power than she thought and must use it to return a child to her rightful place in time. These books may appeal more to girls than boys because Jennifer is more powerful than her twin brother in these first two books. Perhaps Peter will come into his power in the third one. I found these stories to be a quick and enjoyable read. They don't have to be read in order but references to previous characters will make better sense if they are. If I could only buy just one, I would buy the first one—it felt more magical. (Tartan Magic series #2).. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 1999, Harcourt, 146p.,
— Stacey Conrad
Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Thirteen-year-old twins Jennifer and Peter and their little sister Molly, introduced in The Wizard's Map (Harcourt, 1999), are visiting their grandparents in modern-day Scotland when they once again find themselves in the midst of magical events. Their Gran, an affirmed witch, introduces them to a kindly coven ensconced at the soporific Eventide Home for the elderly. One of the witches gives Molly a talisman that leads the children to a Pictish girl, who is fleeing through time from violence in her own ninth century. With the help of the children and the coven, the time traveler is able to return home and prevent some of the bloodshed. The action-paced plot is nearly as winding as the rain-drenched stone lanes of Gran's ancient village, but the important twists are all resolved in the tale's conclusion. The story has a good dose of humor, often provided by an obnoxious talking dog left over from the siblings' first adventure. The novel stands alone but is more enjoyable when read after Wizard's Map, especially for insights into the characters and an appreciation for the occasional references to events in it. Both books will appeal to fans of Susan Cooper's The Boggart (McElderry, 1993).-Beth Wright, Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston, VT Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152163594
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Series: Tartan Magic Series , #2
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 158
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 670L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen is a highly acclaimed children's author who has written hundreds of books for adults and children and has won numerous awards. She and her husband divide their time between Massachussetts and Scotland.
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Table of Contents

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