cover image Firebrat


Nancy Willard. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $11.95 (120pp) ISBN 978-0-394-89008-1

Molly believes that her summer vacation is ruined when her parents send her off to New York City to stay with her aging grandmother. A new friend, Sean, eases her way, as does an old man named Eugene who frequently visits her grandmother's shop of antiques, collectibles and junk. Sean and Molly discover an old subway station that leads them to a strange world where they are perceived as magicians who can save the Crystal Empireand indeed they do destroy the wicked Firebrat that rules that land. There is little suspense in Willard's story; enchanted or easy solutions take care of most problems, and Molly and Sean are given plenty of help on their adventurous trail. But inventive details and an array of fanciful constructions challenge the imaginations of all readers, who may never again view trains or subways in quite the same way. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. (May)