Grayling's Song by Karen CushmanGrayling's Song by Karen Cushman

Grayling's Song

byKaren Cushman

Hardcover | June 7, 2016

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In Karen Cushman?s first-ever fantasy, Grayling journeys to break an evil spell with the help of some second-string magic makers.Like all Karen Cushman's gorgeous novels, Grayling's Song delves into the past to let us know what we must ask of our future." -Lena Dunham

It's time for Grayling to be a hero. Her mother, a "wise woman"-a sort of witch-has been turned into a tree by evil forces. Tangles and toadstools! Lacking confidence after years of being called "Feeble Wits" by her mother, Grayling heads off dubiously into the wilds in search of help, where she finds a weather witch, an aromatic enchantress, a cheese soothsayer, a slyly foolish apprentice, and a shape-shifting mouse named Pook! A fast-paced and funny coming-of-age odyssey from a Newberymedalist.
Karen Cushman 's acclaimed historical novels include Catherine, Called Birdy, a Newbery Honor winner, and The Midwife's Apprentice, which received the Newbery Medal. She lives on Vashon Island in Washington State. Visit her online at and on Twitter @cushmanbooks.
Title:Grayling's SongFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.82 inPublished:June 7, 2016Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0544301803

ISBN - 13:9780544301801

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from A middle grade historical fantasy Middle grade fans of historical fantasy fiction I believe will enjoy this book. Grayling is a young girl who doesn't have the best relationship with her "witch" Dr mother. Hannah Strong, Grayling's mother, belittles Grayling leaving her daughter feeling down with her self-esteem. Grayling is sent out to help reverse a curse that has left Hannah Strong a tree and all the other powerful Dr's in the area. This book took me a bit to get into. I found the pace was a bit slow for my liking and the story was very sad. The characters seemed more interested in being emotionally abusive to each other. The character that I did really like was Pook, a shape shifting mouse. He was a sweet, devoted mouse. The four ladies were on an adventure to get back Hannah Strongs grimore to turn her back into herself and not a tree. This is really a challenge to review. I do think it will make kids stop and think about their own strengths and abilities but at the same time I wasn't really feeling good about all the negative talking between the characters. I also feel it is better suited for 10 year old and up. The magic within the characters were fun and I would have loved to see how Grayling will develop now that she has been down this path to help her mother. I give this book a 3 out of 4 stars. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Date published: 2016-06-23

Editorial Reviews

* The eventual revelation of just who unleashed the destructive power manages to be simultaneously unexpected, plausible, and thought-provoking. Despite her self-doubt, Grayling is cut from the same cloth as the author's other sturdy heroines, but she is also an entirely original and endearing character that readers will cheer on as she seeks to save her mother and return her world to rights." -Kirkus, STARRED review "The language gives the book the atmospheric flavor of historical fiction, and the land itself is wild and mysterious, exactly the type of place where magic could happen, children could wander around trying to fix the world, and tiny mice could shapeshift into mighty protectors if fed the right potion. Cushman offers a complete story with clear resolutions, a memorably complex villain, and a sweet protagonist who becomes far more than background by the end; fantasy buffs and Cushman fansalike will be well pleased." -Bulletin "Young fans of magic will revel in delving into this new world with its cast of unique characters." - School Library Journal "Like all Karen Cushman's gorgeous novels, Grayling's Song delves into the past to let us know what we must ask of our future. I want Cushman's books to raise my children for me: that way I can be assured they'll grow up witty, vastly knowledgeable, and tough as nails." -Lena Dunham ( Girls ) "In this world, magic is commonplace but no less enchanting. This adventure story has the feel of a classic fable, and Cushman's writing brims with grace and warmth." -BookPage "Anyone who has a fondness for fantasy or medieval historical fiction will love this book. Author Karen Cushman delivers a refreshing spin on magic that any aspiring witch or wizard will appreciate." -TIME for Kids, Kid Reporter "