"A fine fantasy debut (first published in Australia in 2001). (author's note) (Fantasy. 10 & up)"
Twelve-year-old Australian Hannah has been sent to spend the winter with Japanese family friends in Kanazawa so she can improve her ability to speak the language.
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"A sort of combination of witch-trial–era Salem and The Giver, this book offers a treat with nearly every page turn. (Fantasy. 10-14)"
"Beautifully written, fully realized, fast-paced—this blurs the line between fantasy and history and has winner written all over it. (Fantasy. 10-14)"
"All in all a sturdy start, illustrated with Caparo's realistic portraits at the chapter heads and reminiscent of Angie Sage's Septimus Heap tales (Queste, 2008, etc.) in style and setting. (map; glossary, runes and biscuit recipe not seen) (Fantasy. 10-13)"
"Nurk's adventure, and the tone in which it's related, will remind readers of Stuart Little's quest. (Fantasy. 10-12)"
"A film is already in development, and if it lives up to this marvel-laden debut, it'll be well worth seeing. (Fantasy. 10-13)"