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Molly and Hannah have just lost their mother, and while Dad "figures things out", they're sent to stay with their grandparents in a quiet country town. Everything is different: there are only ten kids in their entire school; they have to walk home by themselves every day; and a phone call from Dad just isn't the same as a hug. In fact, they're not even ...
Molly and Hannah have just lost their mother, and while Dad "figures things out", they're sent to stay with their grandparents in a quiet country town. Everything is different: there are only ten kids in their entire school; they have to walk home by themselves every day; and a phone call from Dad just isn't the same as a hug. In fact, they're not even sure when, or if, their dad will be back for them. (cont'd)
Imagination and reality blur as a young English girl confronts the cycle of life following her mother's untimely death. While their grieving father tries to "[get] things Sorted Out," Molly and her older sister adjust to living over their grandparents' shop in a country village where they attend a single-room school far from their friends. When Molly encounters a mysterious stranger one autumn night, she's not sure he's real. Throughout the season, as the nameless stranger appears and disappears, Molly realizes he resembles the Green Man, an ancient pagan god of rebirth she's learned about in school. Molly's sadness deepens until a climatic winter solstice when her stranger vanishes, a new year commences and life gradually improves. In a first-person, present-tense voice, Molly quietly explores her complex relationships with her depressed father, her angry sister, her frustrated grandparents and the enigmatic stranger. Written in gently flowing prose, the plot appropriately transitions from autumn into summer as Molly emerges from grief to acceptance and hope. A poignant story of healing tinged with mystery. (Fiction. 8-12)
Posted March 8, 2011
This is a very interesting, thought provoking book for the upper elementary grades. While I enjoyed it, I feel it will take a very thoughtful, philosophical child to really enjoy this book. It starts off a bit slow, but improves immensely as you continue to read. The author's descriptions in this book bring the characters, both real and mythical, to life. The author gives you a glimpse into the pain a family experiences and the grief that the family shares. It is really a touching story. I think it makes a great read-a-loud selection as well.
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