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by Gregory Maguire & illustrated by Elaine Clayton

Pub Date: May 23rd, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-27480-4
Publisher: Clarion Books

It’s the Fourth of July in Hamlet, Vt., and all heck is about to break loose. The town that has suffered and survived—in one remarkable year—an infestation of Siberian snow spiders, a haunting by ghostly mammoths, an alien invasion, the attentions of wayward cupids, the hatching of three mutant lizard-chickens and the kidnapping of its beloved fifth-grade teacher, Miss Earth, deserves some rest. But no, just as school gets out and Miss Earth prepares to wed Mayor Grass, the supernatural creatures re-converge; add a predatory newshound, two mad scientists and a bizarre circus, and you know poor Miss Earth has no hope of an uneventful entry into married bliss. Can the now-graduated members of her class—Copycat boys and Tattletale girls and the unaffiliated Thud and Pearl—unite to protect all their peculiar friends? Maguire throws all authorial restraint to the wind, piling impossible onto improbable for a winsome, bittersweet celebration of love and loss and loyalty. It’s an oddly appropriate, entirely endearing end to a series that goes out with neither bang nor whimper, but a thoughtful combination of the two. (Fiction. 8-12)