Friday, September 07, 2007

Magic Along The River

If you can believe there are trolls living in the Mississippi (never having been near the place, I can), you'll enjoy the charming Horns & Wrinkles by Joseph Helgerson.

Everyone in young Claire's family takes the magic associated with their part of the Mississippi for granted. So when her cousin the bully grows a horn in place of his nose, no one's happy about it, but no one is all that surprised, either. Even when his parents are turned to stone by trolls, the relatives know there's precedent for it.

Cousin Duke falls in with a bad crowd, as bullies often do, and Claire takes after him, hoping to find the key to turning the stone family members back to flesh. One thing leads to another, and she just keeps getting in deeper and deeper and deeper.

Horns & Wrinkles is a clever, well-written book with a spunky (but not cloyingly so) protagonist and amusing antagonists. Its author does interesting things with bullies and those traditional fairies who normally annoy me so. It's an attractive looking book, too, with a couple of surprises.


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