Twilight Child

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Eleni didn’t choose to be a twilight child; it chose her. Born on the longest day of the year in the northern country of Finland, Eleni can communicate with creatures unseen by others—the tontuu of the sauna, the blue men of the Minch, and the brounies of the Scottish highlands. Part of her life is touched by magic, but the other is touched by sorrow. After losing her home, her family, and the boy she loves, Eleni finds comfort and friendship in the little town of Tobermorie. But as much as she wants to call it ...
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Overview

Eleni didn’t choose to be a twilight child; it chose her. Born on the longest day of the year in the northern country of Finland, Eleni can communicate with creatures unseen by others—the tontuu of the sauna, the blue men of the Minch, and the brounies of the Scottish highlands. Part of her life is touched by magic, but the other is touched by sorrow. After losing her home, her family, and the boy she loves, Eleni finds comfort and friendship in the little town of Tobermorie. But as much as she wants to call it home, she feels the pull of someone, and something, stronger.

Author Biography: Sally Warner is the author of many highly acclaimed novels for young people, including Sort of Forever and This Isn’t About the Money. She lives in Altadena, California.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
"...the brisk action will draw many readers, particularly those who enjoy fantasies rooted in history." (starred review)
Children's Literature - Jamaica Johnson Conner
"`My mother told me I was born at twilight,' Eleni added, trying to add some words that might, after all, make these creatures think they had been correct. `She said that is an enchanted time of day. And it is true I met some beings in Finland whom others could not see.'.`She is a twilight child,' both blue men said together, much pleased." In 1787, Eleni realizes that she is not like normal girls in Finland; she was born at twilight, which means that she is able to see and communicate with fantastic creatures, such as brounies, faeries, and many others. Upon the death of her mother in 1793, her father takes Eleni on his sailing ship. After losing a dear friend and her father to the sea and almost dying herself, she is swept onto the shore of Tobermory Bay. Found by the inhabitants of a home called Aros, which contains a washhouse, Eleni is quickly taken into the care of Miss Dundonald and the girls who live and work in Aros with her. Eleni befriends her new family quickly and becomes very popular with the men of the town because of her beauty; however, Eleni is shy and innocent. In the midst of all the male attention, she realizes that she loves a childhood friend in Finland named Matias. When Matias arrives to eat dinner with Miss Dundonald and members of the Aros house, Eleni faints with surprise. Young ladies interested in mythology, history, romance, and adventure will love this beautifully written piece.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Eleni is a twilight child; born at dusk, she can talk to all sorts of magical creatures, including the fairies and sprites of her native Finland. Because of her father's involvement in the current (1790s) conflict with the Swedes and Russians, family circumstances force Eleni on a long sea voyage to Tobermory Bay on the Scottish island of Mull. Working there in a laundry, the girl finds kindred spirits in abundance. The novel ends with a chance for a fresh start in Nova Scotia. Grounded in thorough research and including a liberal sprinkling of terms in Finnish, Scottish, and Swedish, Warner's novel promises many things, delivering on some of them. While the fantasy premise is intriguing, it fails to remain central to the plot, which is in places sparse, losing out to details of the protagonist's travels and the history and geography of the Finns and the Scots. Eleni is a brave and likable heroine, but some of the minor characters are underdeveloped. However, the vivid settings and tantalizing hints of magic along with a twist of romance will please many readers. The story concludes with helpful pronunciation guides, sources, and an author's note. This is not an essential purchase, but it will easily find an audience among girls who enjoy historical fiction.-Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In 1793, 15-year-old Finnish-born Eleni is taken in by a kindly matriarch on the Scottish island of Mull after her father's ship is lost off the coast. Eleni had escaped the disaster after warnings from sea creatures. She blossoms, catches the eye of the island's lustful young scion and eventually reunites with her childhood love-all while communing (a gift arising from having been born at twilight) with solicitous phantasms from Finnish and Scottish folklore. Romantic and supernatural elements abound, and these-in addition to the unusual locales-should appeal. Warner describes in an afterword her admiration for the history, culture and folklore of both countries. This isn't a successful or convincing meshing of realism and fantasy, however, and the supernatural episodes may strike readers as childish. Factor in predictable, corny plot details, some stock characters and information about laundry practices that few young readers will find compelling. (glossary with pronunciation guide for Finnish and Scottish words and names) (Fiction. 12-15)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670060764
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/2006
  • Pages: 304
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 1000L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sally Warner (www.sallywarner.com) has published more than twenty novels for young readers, including the Emma and EllRay Jakes series. She lives in Altadena, California with her husband and their not-so-miniature dachshund, Rocky.

Sally Warner (www.sallywarner.com) has published more than twenty novels for young readers, including the Emma and EllRay Jakes series. She lives in Altadena, California with her husband and their not-so-miniature dachshund, Rocky. 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2008

    Beautiful

    A very poignant, beautiful story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2007

    THIS BOOK ROCKS!!!!!!!!!

    I was Interested in this book form the begining it had me hooked. i loved who the book flowed. I could realate to the book. I can't wait to read another one of Sally Warner's books she is an awsome writer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2007

    a reviewer

    i nearly had to force myself to finish this book. it was interesting in some parts, but it was VERY predictable. i don't think it had a very good plot either.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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