The Glass Table

Overview

When twelve children disappear from Lake Como during the summer school holidays, the police chief is baffled. There are no clues and no witnesses, even though the camping grounds are overflowing with holidaymakers and the children disappear in broad daylight.

The children have been cast into a spell to live as spirits in the river Kai, divided into two opposing groups: the river spirits and the wood spirits. The river spirits can escape the spell and return home as children, but...

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2009 Trade paperback Fine. No dust jacket as issued. LOOKS UNREAD-APPEARS TO BE A LITTLE STIFF-PGS BRIGHT-BINDING TIGHT-B 218 p. Audience: General/trade; Children/juvenile.

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Overview

When twelve children disappear from Lake Como during the summer school holidays, the police chief is baffled. There are no clues and no witnesses, even though the camping grounds are overflowing with holidaymakers and the children disappear in broad daylight.

The children have been cast into a spell to live as spirits in the river Kai, divided into two opposing groups: the river spirits and the wood spirits. The river spirits can escape the spell and return home as children, but only with dire consequences for the wood spirits. The children learn that it is only through trust, camaraderie, and teamwork do they have a chance to return home to their families, however, when a wood spirit named Faith, turns into a mass of bubbles and floats away down the river Kai, all bets are off, even though a greater threat emerges on the banks of the river Kai.

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Editorial Reviews

ForeWord
In a unique combination of fantasy and ecology, Leigh K. Cunningham's first children's novel, The Glass Table, chronicles the adventures of twelve children who are turned into spirits by an environmentally minded wicked witch. The story begins in the sleepy town of Rumpole during a sweltering summer. Cunningham writes, "It was the worst way possible to spend the school holidays: trapped indoors like caterpillars in a bug-catcher, with armpits flowing like waterfalls and hair damp and matted, hanging in dreads like worms."
Rumpole residents seeking escape from the heat pack up their families and travel to Lake Como to cool down in the frigid lake waters. The local witch is not at all happy with this onslaught of messy families, so she conjures a spell that transforms six of the children into river spirits and another six into wood spirits.
The children-turned-spirits discover a mystical glass table submerged beneath the surface of the River Kai. Here they learn the six rules that must be followed in order to avoid severe consequences. For example, rule number five states, "In the event that humans should cause further destruction to the woods, the lake, or the river Kai which flows from it, then all the spirits will die." This rule becomes important to the storyline when developers bring bulldozers to prepare the area for building. The spirits use all of their watery wiles to deter the builders, and the lake is saved, at least temporarily.
The spirits are permitted to visit their homes, and these episodes are both entertaining and poignant. Unable to be seen or heard, the children can only watch as their families struggle with grief and loss. Gradually, they begin to understandjust how much they are truly loved. For young readers, this may be the story's most valuable lesson.
Reader will feel no sense of satisfaction at the end of the story, for the story doesn't end on the last page. Will the spirits discover a way to break the spell, or are they forever doomed to a life of eating raw fish and dodging giant carp? Perhaps these questions will be answered in the next installment of Cunningham's three-part series.
For young readers who enjoy fantasy, this story may be a good choice.
—Holly Moulder
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439242711
  • Publisher: Cunningham, Leigh K.
  • Publication date: 10/29/2009
  • Pages: 218
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.39 (d)

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