Magpie Gabbard and the Quest for the Buried Moon

Sally M. Keehn, Author . Philomel $16.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-399-24340-0

Set on a Kentucky mountaintop, Keehn's (Gnat Stokes and the Foggy Bottom Swamp Queen ) novel is as memorable for the voice of its spunky heroine as for its imaginative plot ingredients. The novel opens as Magpie takes the foot that once belonged to her brother Milo and heads "off-mountain" to search for him. On the day she was born, Magpie's grandfather passed on to her a legacy, "a cussedness to carry on the fight" with her family's archrivals, the "downright despicable " Sizemores (who live "down-mountain"). At the same time, the moon visited her father, inspiring a name for his new daughter (for the white streaks in her black hair that resemble the bird) and also a prophecy: if the girl "can rise above her grandpa's fighting legacy and put her cussedness to good use, one day she could save us all." Milo left his foot behind in order to escape the chains their mother devised to keep him at home. Though Magpie's initial attempt to reunite her sibling with his foot fails, she takes on the larger mission of the title—to restore the moon to the sky. An unlikely cast aids her in her quest: an enchanted teakettle, Wild Bill, the boar that transports her, and a flask of "miracle" Green Water—even the Sizemores, who are not so despicable after all. At once humorous and poignant, this is an enchanting tall tale from a talented raconteur. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/12/2007
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Children's
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