Author: Applegate, Katherine
Eleven-year-old Willodeen adores creatures of all kinds, but her favorites are the most unlovable beasts in the land: strange beasts known as "screechers." The villagers of Perchance call them pests, even monsters, but Willodeen believes the animals serve a vital role in the complicated web of nature. When natural disasters hit the land and the hummingbears disappear, Willodeen and her new friend, Connor, are determined to use her newly acquired magic to discover what's going on.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 512800
Kirkus Reviews (08/15/21)
School Library Journal (10/01/21)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/09/21)
The Hornbook (00/11/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2021 Gr 3–7—Applegate's latest fantasy is a simple but beautiful story about humans' relationship with the natural world. Orphaned Willodeen has never quite fit in with her peers. She loves all animals, but especially the widely despised screecher: a smelly creature with tusks, a snout, tails, and quills. She is happy keeping to herself until the screechers begin to disappear, mainly due to the bounty the town of Perchance has placed on them. The rest of the town is focused on the disappearance of the hummingbears, winged bears responsible for the tourist draw to Perchance. After witnessing the killing of an old screecher, Willowdeen's new friend Connor carves her one that is magically brought to life through her tears. Determined to save this last screecher, Willodeen finds the connection between the screechers and hummingbears and stands up for them at a town meeting. Red-haired Willowdeen is cued as white. Connor has brown skin. VERDICT A sweet fantasy about standing up for what you believe in. Hand to all young environmentalists.—Katharine Gatcomb, Nashua P.L., NH - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.