cover image Nutcracked


Susan Adrian. Random House, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-399-55668-5

Adrian (Tunnel Vision) further blurs the line between reality and fantasy in The Nutcracker, developing a backstory for the enmity between the Mouse King and the Nutcracker. After Georgie Reynolds wins the role of Clara in her town’s annual production of the ballet, she is magically transported to Drosselmeyer’s toy workshop whenever she dances while holding the production’s heirloom nutcracker during rehearsals. There, she meets a living version of the Nutcracker, who asks Georgie for her help. Repeated eerie visits to this obscure realm make for a somewhat slow buildup to the finale, but the electric showdown is worth the wait. Georgie’s real-world interactions with family and friends (her grandfather recently had a stroke, and Georgie is trying to repair a rift with her best friend Kaitlyn, who also wanted to play Clara) add warmth and depth to this atmospheric interpretation. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Kate Schafer Testerman, KT Literary. (Sept.) [/em]