***** 2017 NYC Big Book Award Winner for Juvenile Fiction *****
***** 2018 Readers' Favorite Finalist in Children - PreTeen Category *****
Lily Brooke, where small town charm and a hidden secret converge one fateful late autumn night. The demons of the past are determined to never be locked away again. MALB, the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke, consists of six childhood friends that are bound together in loyalty, friendship, and courage. Together, they all face the unleashed enchantments that are haunting the children after their discovery of the forbidden sacrificial cave, crooked trail, and mysterious treehouse. Magdalena has always known she is different from the others, but the cause has always escaped her, until now. Coming to grips with her soul purpose, she must gather courage she never knew she possessed to save her friends and family from the evil forces hiding amongst them.
Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail, is a middle grades to young adult epic fantasy fiction novel, that explores faith, unity, differences, belief in a higher power, magic, and teamwork. It will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat, begging to turn the page, while written for audiences of all ages. With a touch of southern charm and tradition, this novel takes you on a journey not for the faint of heart. Witches, wizards, demons, black magic, and soul searching all have their place in the quaint little town of Lily Brooke.
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Table of Contents
Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Birthday Celebration
Chapter 2: Lily Brooke
Chapter 3: Hubert’s Barn
Chapter 4: The Crooked Trail
Chapter 5: Enchanted Treehouse
Chapter 6: MALB
Chapter 7: The Golden Leaf Book
Chapter 8: Demonic Enchantments
Chapter 9: Midnight Rendezvous
Chapter 10: The Dungeon
Chapter 11: Dire Warning
Chapter 12: Hidden Locket
Chapter 13: Dancing with Demons
Chapter 14: The Hidden Symbol
Chapter 15: The Ceremonial Room
Chapter 16: Ultimate Sacrifice
Chapter 17: The Grand Demon
Chapter 18: Black Vaccines
Chapter 19: Truth and Lies
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Magdalena and her friends Gabriel and Hubert decide to spend a beautiful day exploring the woods behind Hubert's farm. Magdalena just celebrated her 13th birthday and her wish to have something exciting happen to her has come true, but not in the way she had hoped! When people say to "be careful what you wish for," this is exactly what they had in mind! I loved the description of this book and was looking forward to reading it, but there were a few glaring problems that really took away from my ability to fully engage with the characters and the story. The description of the book says that it is for middle grades to young adult, but I really think it is geared more toward the younger set. The characters are 13, so I would say this is the age of the readers that would enjoy it, as young adults would really notice the problems and be bogged down by them, as I was. The way the kids speak was weirdly formal, especially for 13 year olds. For example, they didn't use contractions when speaking to each other, and they explained things that the others should already know, almost like they were adults speaking to children instead of young teenagers speaking to friends they've known their whole lives. And at one point, when Magdalena is talking with 5 of her good friends (the members of MALB, the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke), she says: "This morning, he made eye contact with my mother, Leona, and had his assistant take his place at the door to greet the morning attendees. My mother turned to my father, Paulos, and excused herself stating she needed to go to the ladies' restroom." Again, these kids have known each other all of their lives, so you would assume they know who her mother and father are, which was why it was odd that she threw her parents' names in there, like they had no idea who she was talking about! I've just never heard kids do that, especially 13 year olds who seem to abbreviate everything these days. Then there was the wrong usage of who/whoever and whom/whomever, which is a pet peeve of mine. I stumbled every time the words were used wrong: e.g. "Whom wrote such a ridiculous story?" This happened over and over again. Also, the writing seems forced sometimes, which breaks the reader's concentration and the flow of the story itself. Other times, something just doesn't make sense, so you have to stop and figure out what didn't work in the sentence, and that takes you out of the story as well: "The group all tried to bend, move or sway the perfectly spaced boulders, but nothing gave." How the heck do you bend or sway a boulder? It just doesn't make sense. Another big problem for me was that there would be pages of descriptions of what was happening in a scene, as well as dialogue, and then when someone new came along, instead of just saying that the character repeated what they had heard, done or said, they actually repeated the whole darn thing! There was way too much retelling and re-explaining, and I feel like that bogged the story down a lot. But other times, not enough was explained. When something big happens to Magdalena in the second half of the book, and I mean big as in life changing, rock my world kind of big, she has a moment of indecision, then says she has come to terms with it, and then just seems to know instinctively what to do and how to do it (it's hard to describe it without giving it away lol), even though it's something that adults would have to take time themselves to figure out! T
This book is an interesting story-line that broaden one knowledge about the essence of marking birthday. I was able to pick the fact that the more birthday one celebrate, the more we find out our purpose in life. It teaches to be courageous and be firm even in the time of trials and lots more. The book is worth purchasing. I like it.
“Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail” is the best example of young adult fiction I’ve read lately. Mysterious, enchanting, completely mesmerizing, it kept me in suspense till the last page. Among the obvious pros of the book are a complex, twisted plot and a masterfully created feeling of tension which raises interest enormously! I’ve finished this book in one sitting. The small, charming town of Lily Brooke and its inhabitants lead pretty measured simple lives. Until one day, after her thirteenth birthday celebration, Magdalena Gottschalk and her friends Gabriel Bach and Hubert Mueller find an entrance to a hidden cave. The mystical ringing in Magdalena’s ears turned into voices and to make out what they were saying Magdalena made a decision to move forward and into the cave. Truly, they’ve entered the biggest, most dangerous, breathtaking and sinister adventure of their lives! The author developed characters in the most amazing way, making them bright, vivid, so easy to imagine! Except for the main heroes, I was quite impressed by the character of Adolphe Celt, a first-generation baker and I loved Sugar Baby, the horse, who was patrolling the premises of the town for anything sinister. However, Magdalena is the brightest of them all, full of curiosity, intelligence, and miraculous inner forces! The language of the book is so descriptive, with image-bearing comparisons. The narrative is full of accurate and detailed transmissions of facts, authentic dialogues with a clear style of presentation, a unique sense of humor, as well as an amazingly intriguing introduction and a memorable ending! What mysteries are the friends of MALB (which stands for the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke) going to uncover and what hidden secret lay behind Magdalena’s origin? Battles with evil, demons, spells and witches, enchanted places, true friendship, bravery and a lot more await you on the pages of this truly fascinating read!
The plot really takes off, and how it is all going to end is totally unpredictable - the urge to keep turning pages increases in line with the pressure on the characters. The book is all beautifully written and masterfully created. I find the novel explores the effect on relationships which is literally 'mind-blowing'. I find this book is an extremely good read which is also very informative. Within the first few chapters I just knew I couldn't put it down until I had devoured it's every content. It has been a long time since I have been so gripped by a book. If you are looking for a book for Christmas presents then this is a must. It is one of those special books that deserves to become a bestseller. One book not to be judged by its cover! I cannot wait to see what the rest of the series has to offer. Would definitely recommend to all friends and family.
Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail is an intriguing fantasy story that will appeal to both young adults and middle graders. For middle graders, the book is a bit long, but the character’s ages (they main characters are thirteen years old) are ideal for this age group. Magdalena is a thirteen-year-old girl who feels like something is missing. Life is just too ordinary. Even though she has two best friends who mean the world to her, and they often go exploring together, she still feels bored sometimes. Then, one morning Magdalena and her friends Hubert and Gabriel, go explore the woods behind Hubert’s family barn. They discover things they never thought possible, like strange sacrificial drawings in a cave, a crooked trail, and chanting voices only Magdalena can hear. Their friendship is pushed to the limits, and they each have to face some of their fears if they want to save their hometown, Lily Brooke. Witches, wizards and black magic… Magdalena will certainly never call life boring again. The book had a slow start but after a few chapters, the pacing really picked up. The story is very imaginative, and as a reader, you can easily feel a connection toward the main characters. I didn’t expect a lot of the twists that happened, and I found the book very entertaining. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail by M. Gail Grant is the story of Magdalena Gottschalk. It is Magdalena’s 13th birthday and everybody is celebrating. The next day Magdalena and her friends, Hubert and Gabriel, go for a walk through the woods behind the barn at Hubert’s house and that’s when things change. A strange fork leads them down an odd path, taking them to an enchanted treehouse and a strange cave. Voices and noises that only Magdalena can hear lead them on and their adventure raises questions - it’s time to bring in the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke to determine if there is something unwanted living in Lily Brooke. The town is depending on them and many lives are going to be changed as they face obstacles that they should never have to face. Can the town survive? And what of Magdalena and her friends? Can their friendship survive this toughest of all tests? Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail by M. Gail Grant is a mystical fantasy story and a very well written one at that. I was hooked from page one and couldn’t put the book down. The characters are incredibly well developed and the story is wound around them intricately. It is an easy story to follow, full of excitement and plenty of twists and turns to keep you hooked and on edge. The action starts on page one and takes you on a rollercoaster journey of mystery, wizardry, demons and black magic, all leading you to an exciting conclusion that you won’t be able to wait to get to. I enjoyed the story and I believe it is well aimed at its target audience.
Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail by M. Gail Grant is a riveting blend of fantasy and adventure for young adult readers. Thirteen-year-old Magdalena lives in the cozy little town of Lily Brooke and she experiences boredom, just like some of her teenage friends, hardly finding anything exciting to do. One Saturday morning, Magdalena and her teenage friends, Gabriel and Hubert, decide to have a little adventure. But things begin to change so quickly once they get on the road and they start noticing unusual things like the fork in the middle of an oft-traveled path, a crooked trail, then the cave with the hidden lanterns, the drawings on its walls, and the enchanted tree house that looks so old. But most troubling are the voices that seem to beckon them on, voices that only Magdalena can hear. The fun has just begun as the trio sets out on an adventure to discover the secret behind the voices and why only Magdalena can hear them. The rest is a thrilling adventure involving magic, secret societies, and supernatural happenings that will change the lives of the children forever and the way they see Lily Brooke. There is an evident evil lurking in the city, but can it be defeated? Do the kids have what it takes to fight it? M. Gail Grant’s characters are very interesting and readers will enjoy Magdalena's feisty nature, she is an intelligent and curious girl. The characters are real and their reactions to situations taking place in their community will arouse the interest of readers. I enjoyed the way the themes are developed, especially friendship, magic, and teamwork. The setting is vividly portrayed and readers get a clear picture of Lily Brooke. The writing is excellent, featuring beautiful descriptions and dialogues that are plot-driven and that enhance character development. Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail is a delightful read for young readers and adults who still reflect the beauty of childhood in their hearts.
Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail by M. Gail Grant follows Magdalena upon her thirteenth birthday when she discovers secrets in her quaint town of Lily Brooke. After an exploration through the woods with her friends, Gabriel and Hubert, leads them to a hidden cave, they find lanterns, sacrificial drawings on the walls, and a bizarre and empty tree house. To find answers behind the cave, they turn to their other friends for help. A strange book called Demonic Enchantments, and an even stranger conversation between the preacher and Magdalena's mom, reveal possibly sinister secrets the adults of the town may be keeping. When they realize they may have freed something demonic from the cave, the friends band together to find a way to fix their mistake before it's too late. M. Gail Grant has a charming style with sweet descriptions, often using old-fashioned phrases and language that perfectly fits the personalities of the children and the quaintness of the town. This is a town that seems idealistic on the surface with a nosy neighbor, hardworking farmers, and a baker that found his calling at a young age. But Grant crafts a darker and sinister underbelly to the town in a secret that the townspeople have banded together to keep hidden. This is the mystery the children strive to solve in an adventure that often reminds me of the classic mysteries of Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys, except with demons and magic. Magdalena Gottschalk is a tale of adventure and friendship, courage and heroism, a coming of age story perfect for young adults. The delightful world and wonder of adventure will appeal to all ages.