MG Takes on Thursday

This is my weekly meme celebrating amazing middle-grade books, now with a re-vamped banner!

How to take part:

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence. 
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

This week, I’m celebrating …

Written by  Gabriella Houston
Cover Illustration by Alexis Snell
Published by uclan publishing

Favourite Sentence from Page 11:

She [Gamayun] jumped off the branch and swooped so close to Mara’s voz, she brushed the girl’s hair with the tip of her wing.

This book in three words:

FOLKLORE, ADVENTUREFRIENDSHIP

The Wind Child is an utterly entrancing story, inspired by Slavic folklore, that transported me into a world of gods, spirits and demons for an unforgettable adventure with two wonderfully courageous children. 

Mara is the half-human granddaughter of Stribog, the God of Winter Winds and lives with her mother and father in his icy palace.  She is a disappointment to her mother, Zevena and her grandfather as she doesn’t exhibit any magical powers; however, she is loved by her human father.  When her father becomes unwell, the family are sent to live with Mara’s human grandmother who welcomes her and her father home. 

Mara’s world is ripped apart when her beloved father dies; however, she is determined to travel to Navia, the Slavic afterlife, to bring him back from the dead.  So begins an utterly entrancing, breath-taking quest as Mara sets off with her best friend Torniv, the bear-shifter, in a race to save her father before he is lost to her forever …

As the children journey through forest and across the sea towards Navia, they must outwit trickster gods; overcome child-snatching demons; make bargains with forest lords; travel to a magical island to seek a treasure; and, avoid becoming a meal for Baba Latingorka. 

This is a dazzlingly action-packed, perilous adventure that I found absolutely unputdownable.  I was wholly invested in the journey these two young friends were determined to make, and my heart both ached and sang for them as they faced danger, trickery and painful choices with such courage. 

This mesmerising adventure has a richly evocative setting that swept me through the forest, across the sea and on to islands to meet the demons, spirits and gods that are such an intrinsic folkloric element of this journey quest. 

I adored both Mara and Torniv and the wonderfully close and supportive friendship which grows between them.  Viewed as different by others, they find acceptance and strength through their bond and their quest.  They are courageous, determined and resourceful and look out for each other when faced with hardship and danger. 

A truly breath-taking, captivating adventure of friendship, sacrifice, loss and acceptance.  And that ending – perfect, unexpected, heart-breaking – and I’m craving another adventure!

Thank you to Antonia Wilkinson and uclan publishing for a proof in exchange for my honest opinion.

I’d love if anyone who wants to give this meme a go would comment in the comments box and include a link to your post so I can visit, comment and find some great middle-grade recommendations. If you do create a post and are on Twitter, and would like to share your post, please use the hashtag  #MGTakesOnThursday so I can find it, read it and share it!

4 thoughts on “MG Takes on Thursday

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