Kirkus Reviews QR Code
PAY THE PIPER by Jane Yolen


A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fairy Tale

by Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple

Age Range: 11 - 14

Pub Date: July 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-765-31158-5

Who captivates kids more than a mesmerizing rock star? The Svengali of this tale is the piper in the retro band Brass Rat. Attending their concert, 14-year-old Callie is enthralled by him as well as by another band member but soon senses something sinister about Peter Gringras and the group. An aura of menace wafts through the novel as Gringras’s true identity and back-story are played out in an italicized parallel text. When the worst happens—the neighborhood children, including her brother, are spirited away by the flute on Halloween—Callie enters the land of Faerie to confront the piper. He’s really a cursed fairy prince in mortal clothing who’s obliged to render children up to his father as punishment for murdering his brother centuries ago. Callie devises a stratagem to send Gringras back “home” for good and to rescue the children in this rich homage to the Hamlin story. Brass Rat’s “lyrics” are included. (Fiction. 11-14)