Friday, March 25, 2016

Graylings Song by Karen Cushman ~ Review

Title: Grayling's Song
Author: Karen Cushman
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Length: 224 Pages
Publisher: Clarion Books
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

When Grayling’s mother, wise woman Hannah Strong, starts turning into a tree, Hannah sends Grayling to call “the others” for help. Shy and accustomed to following her mother in everything, Grayling takes to the road. She manages to summon several “others”—second-string magic makers who have avoided the tree spell—and sets off on a perilous trip to recover Hannah’s grimoire, or recipe book of charms and potions. By default the leader of the group, which includes a weather witch, an enchantress, an aspiring witch, a wizard whose specialty is divination with cheese, and a talking and shape shifting mouse called Pook, Grayling wants nothing more than to go home.

Kidnapping, imprisonment, near drowning, and ordinary obstacles like hunger, fatigue, and foul weather plague the travelers, but they persist and achieve their goal. Returning, Grayling finds herself reluctant to part with her companions—especially Pook. At home she’s no longer content to live with her bossy mother, who can look after herself just fine, and soon sets out on another journey to unfamiliar places . . . possibly to see the young paper maker who warmed her heart.

Graying experiences quite the adventure in Grayling's Song. Being given the task to gather "the others" and find her mother's spellbook in order to save the world from a very vague evil shadowy menace was quite a terrifying concept for her. There are only a handful of people with the ability to help her, and she instantly starts off on her quest to find them

She manages to accumulate quite the variety of people. I loved how their personalities clashed and blended together at times in such a fun and realistic way. You like each one of them for different reasons and they are full of surprises - especially one of them!

What may be the downfall for some middle graders is the language. There is nothing foul or inappropriate, but it is very period specific. I could see some of the more reluctant readers struggling with reading and understanding it.

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review*

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