Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Root of Magic, by Kathleen Benner Duble

In the midst of a powerful winter storm in northern Maine, Willow, her brother Wisp, and her mother crash their car.  They are rescued by a plow driver who takes them to the small town of Kismet.  Stuck in town for a few days because of the storm, they have time to get to know the inhabitants and become aware that something a little fishy is going on.  The people of Kismet have an uncanny ability to anticipate things (like knowing what you want to order for dinner before you do so).  They also seem to be hiding a secret.

None of which seems to both Willow's mother.  Always a bit obsessed with monitoring the health of sickly child Wisp, she becomes convinced that living in Kismet may be the solution to his health issues.  For Willow, who has had to endure a fair amount of sacrifices for her brother's care, this is a final straw: She wants to go home and leave this place forever!

An entertaining fantasy novel, which poses questions about fate versus free will in terms that younger readers will understand.  Willow is observant, brave, and assertive, yet also kind and respectful (all traits that parents will appreciate in a book).  An age-appropriate romance with a local boy adds some fun and is nicely integrated into the tale.  The result is an easy reading and fun story.

No comments: