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|Guest : a changeling tale|
Author: Hahn, Mary Downing
Young Mollie traverses eerie, perilous lands to retrieve her baby brother, Thomas, from the Kinde Folke, malicious sprites who snatched him and left a hideous changeling in his place.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 504575
Kirkus Reviews (06/01/19)
School Library Journal (09/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/07/19)
The Hornbook (00/09/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2019 After Mollie makes a seemingly insignificant comment about her baby brother, the Kinde Folke steal Thomas and replace him with a changeling. Mollie's parents want to abandon the biting, screaming infant at the crossroads outside of town, but a wise old woman tells them not to. After many months, the changeling (whom Mollie named Guest) has grown incredibly fast, draining Mollie's mother and driving her father to abandon them all. Mollie decides that it is up to her to seek out the Kinde Folke and force them to reverse the exchange. But as she and Guest encounter deception and hardship, journeying deep into the forest, Mollie realizes that she is developing a genuine connection to Guest, and she's not sure if she can let him go after all. Although the narrative feels somewhat shallow, and there is an overabundance of adjectives, Hahn (The Girl in the Locked Room, 2018) dreams up a delightfully chilling tale of magic and mythology, exploring themes of love, friendship, chosen family, and overcoming one's deepest fears. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2019 Gr 4–7—It's Mollie's fault when the Kinde Folke (a group of spiteful fairies who are neither delicate nor kind) kidnap her brother and leave Guest in his place—a sickly fairy halfling who does nothing but bite, pinch, eat…and tear her family apart. Eventually, a desperate Mollie treks to the Darklands with Guest in tow, determined to make the fairies give her brother back now that Guest is healthy again. Everyone they meet along the way has their own secret agenda, but worst of all is the Queen of the Kinde Folke. And Mollie's brother, once discovered, has no wish to leave his new family to return to a life of poverty with his old one. Can Mollie's bravery make up for her habit of speaking before she thinks? This tale by Hahn, notable for her "just right" scary stories for the upper elementary school crowd, is somewhat different than her usual offerings, veering more toward fantasy than horror. The creepy atmosphere and Mollie's determination offset her rather slow-moving journey to the Darklands, and the absence of neat endings lends a touch of reality. VERDICT A solid purchase for upper elementary school students who like a dark tale grounded in myth.—Elizabeth Friend, Wester Middle School, TX - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.