cover image The Gates of the Wind

The Gates of the Wind

Kathryn Lasky. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-15-204264-6

When Gamma Lee decides to trade the quiet valley for a wild, windy mountaintop, her neighbors fear she has lost her mind. After all, their valley is the ``best place in the world'': cool in the summer, snug in the winter and always peaceful. Nevertheless, the white-haired traveler sallies forth with nary a backward glance, saying, ``The fish in the river have seen more of the world than I have.'' Her new life isn't easy, especially when the ``meddling'' wind keeps getting in the way. But, after a few false starts, she manages to build a hut from supple weeds, plant vegetables and flowers, and joyously adapt to her new surroundings. In time, she becomes a legend to the village children below, an inspiring reminder of the wonderful world that lies beyond. Lasky's plucky Gamma Lee is a character readers won't soon forget. Stevens (the illustrator of Eric Kimmel's Anansi books) captures the story's quirky, adventuresome spirit, pinning the wind's energy-and Gamma Lee's-to the pages with the fluid lines of her colorful brush strokes. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)