Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...a Need for Magic, 17 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Afternoon of the Elves (Novel) (Kindle Edition)
This book was originally published in 1989 and awarded the Newbery Honor in 1990. I can see why. What a beautiful and wonderful story.

I'd like to thank NetGalley and Open Road for Young Readers for the review copy of this title.

Hillary is a popular 4th grade girl with proper clothes and many friends. Sara-Kate is her neighbor who lives down the hill. Sara-Kate was held back a grade, acts strangely, has no friends, and is far too small and skinny for her age.

The reader follows these two girls as they become friends. This is due to a magical village of elves found in Sara-Kate's backyard. Janet Taylor-Lisle paints a vivid picture of mini houses, roads, and even a Ferris wheel! The girls grow closer and closer trying to believe. They hear them. There is evidence of them being there - if you look hard enough, if you look at things differently you will see.

Slight spoilers ahead.

This story is both calm and intense. Readers will be taken away to a make believe place and then be shown glimpses into the real world surrounding these two girls. Sara-Kate has much to hide and wants others to look past reality. She is secretive for a reason. She can't invite Hillary into her house. She must make her friend ignore all that and see only the beautiful elf village. I don't think the circumstances of Sara-Kate's home life will be too much for young readers to handle, but there are tense and touching moments.

One note that surprised me, the ebook ends at 92% and we are offered supplemental information about the author, her family, and other books she's written. I enjoyed that material as well and thought the story wrapped up nicely, but was surprised with the sudden conclusion.

Teachers and parents may want to know the reading level of this book - an earlier version of this story was listed with a Lexile Measurement of 820L. I feel this would be a great book for young, advanced readers who can handle slightly emotional subjects.

A fantastic story.
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Location: Minneapolis

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