Sit back and listen to the words of the old folks and their bygone ways.




More traditional tales from Scotland.

Williamson, who died in 2007, was one of Scotland’s Travelling People, and he collected and told stories from the oral tradition. In this companion to The Coming of the Unicorn (2012), humans, rabbits, foxes, donkeys and hedgehogs “follow the solar year and mark the progress of its seasons according to Traveller tradition.” Each tale rewards goodness and kindness over greed and selfishness. Some will be familiar to storytellers, including “The Twelve White Swans” and “Princess and the Glass Hill.” There’s a rewarding mix of humor, trickery and devotion, along with cautionary tales about spiders and flies, safety in numbers and listening to gossip. Three Christmas stories, religious and secular, and a touching tale of Father Time and the coming of the New Year conclude the volume. Storytellers and those who enjoy reading aloud will find this an excellent resource filled with lively language. Ever-present is an enormous respect for traditional ways and beliefs, as written in the opening lines of “The Twelve Seasons”: “My father told me this story years and years ago when I was wee. I never saw it in a book or heard anyone before him telling it.”

Sit back and listen to the words of the old folks and their bygone ways. (glossary of Scottish words) (Folk tales. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-7825-0017-9

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Floris

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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A potent mixture of magic and monsters that never materializes.


From the Revenge of Magic series , Vol. 1

After 12-year-old Fort’s father is abducted during an alien attack on Washington, D.C., he jumps at the chance to attend a school of magic that is preparing to go to war with the invaders.

Fort is anxious to start his new school, but he finds Oppenheimer School to be nothing like Hogwarts. Instead of a castle with turrets and magical creatures roaming the forest, Fort’s new school is on a military base complete with armed soldiers and high-tech security. Although the school teaches both Healing magic and Destruction magic, Fort is determined to master the latter in order to avenge his father. When he arrives, Fort is given an ultimatum: learn three spells in three days or be sent home. While he quickly makes enemies with the aggressive Destruction students, he also makes important friends. Jia Liang is a master of Healing magic. Rachel, a wielder of Destruction magic, helps Fort fight his battles. And Cyrus, newly transferred from London, uses his clairvoyance to keep everyone out of trouble. While this new take on a magical academy is imaginative, the narrative wanders, spending too much time on bickering, dead ends, and flashbacks. Fort’s indecision is his greatest stumbling block, making him a lackluster leader. An open ending suggests more to come. The book adheres to the white default; Jia is a Chinese immigrant, and Rachel is African-American.

A potent mixture of magic and monsters that never materializes. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8577-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.


A middle-aged woman sidelined by a horrific accident finds even sharper pains waiting on the other side of her recuperation in this expert nightmare by Hardy, familiar to many readers as Megan Hart, author of All the Secrets We Keep (2017), etc.

Five months ago, while she was on her way to the hospital with an ailing gallbladder, Diana Sparrow’s car hit a deer on a rural Pennsylvania road. When she awoke, she was minus her gallbladder, two working collarbones (and therefore two functioning arms), and her memory. During a recovery that would’ve been impossible without the constant ministrations of Harriett Richmond, the mother-in-law who’s the real reason Diana married her husband, Jonathan, Diana’s discovered that Jonathan has been cheating on her with her childhood friend Valerie Delagatti. Divorce is out of the question: Diana’s grown used to the pampered lifestyle the prenup she’d signed would snatch away from her. Every day is filled with torments. She slips and falls in a pool of wine on her kitchen floor she’s sure she didn’t spill herself. At the emergency room, her credit card and debit card are declined. She feels that she hates oppressively solicitous Harriett but has no idea why. Her sessions with her psychiatrist fail to heal her rage at her adoptive mother, an addict who abandoned her then returned only to disappear again and die an ugly death. Even worse, her attempts to recover her lost memory lead to an excruciatingly paced series of revelations. Val says Diana asked her to seduce Jonathan. Diana realizes that Cole, a fellow student in her watercolor class, isn’t the stranger she’d thought he was. Where can this maze of deceptions possibly end?

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-470-0

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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From the Where the Mountain Meets the Moon series , Vol. 1

To change her family’s fortunes, a poor Chinese girl embarks on a fantastical quest to discover she already has everything she needs to be happy. Minli and her parents live in the shadow of Fruitless Mountain, where they toil endlessly. Bitter and resentful, Minli’s mother complains when her husband fills Minli’s imagination with enchanting tales of Never-Ending Mountain and the Old Man of the Moon. “Eager for adventure,” Minli sets out alone seeking advice from the Old Man of the Moon. En route she befriends a dragon who joins her quest. Together they encounter a talking goldfish, a boy with a buffalo, a king, a fierce green tiger and laughing twins before scaling Never-Ending Mountain. Lin deftly incorporates elements from Chinese folk- and fairy tales to create stories within the main story and provide context for Minli’s quest. With her “lively and impulsive spirit,” Minli emerges a stalwart female role model who learns the importance of family, friendship and faith during her amazing journey. Richly hued illustrations reinforce the Chinese folk theme. (author’s note) (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-316-11427-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2009

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