Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Fierce and Subtle Poison (5 Chapter Excerpt Included) / The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse - Algonquin Young Readers

Idgie Says:
Algonquin has a knack for finding authors with the talent to grab and keep the attention of the younger readers with their words.  The two books below continue that trend.  Both are books steeped in fantasy, but with enough realism in the pages that you don't lose track of the story attempting to understand swirling, chaotic sentences that are too far from reality to really grasp.  The Teen book touches on subjects bordering on the adult and with enough teen angst and concerns in it that the reader will feel familiar with the words.   The younger book has a nice story of kids helping each other even when there is fear or discomfort involved.  It tells a story of empathy. 

Both of these books would be a nice collection to your child's library.   I will say that both books would be best for the younger end of the age groups listed for them.  


In this stunning debut, legends collide with reality when a boy is swept into the magical, dangerous world of a girl filled with poison.

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison beautifully blends magical realism with a page-turning mystery and a dark,  starcrossed romance–all delivered in lush, urgent prose.

A Spring 2016 Kids’ Indie Next List Pick


Farrey_Dreadwillow_jkt_rgb_HR_2MBThe Secret Of Dreadwillow Carse
by Brian Farrey
A princess and a peasant girl must embark on a dangerous quest to outwit a centuries-old warning foretelling the fall of the Monarchy in this thrilling modern fairytale.

In the center of the verdant Monarchy lies Dreadwillow Carse, a black and desolate bog that the happy people of the land do their best to ignore. Little is known about it, except for one dire warning: If any monarch enters Dreadwillow Carse, then the Monarchy will fall. Twelve-year-old Princess Jeniah yearns to know what the marsh could possibly conceal that might topple her family’s thousand-year reign of peace and prosperity.

Meanwhile, in the nearby town of Emberfell, where everyone lives with unending joy, a girl named Aon hides a sorrow she can never reveal. She knows that something in the carse–something that sings a haunting tune only Aon can hear–holds the cure for her sadness. Yet no matter how many times she tries to enter, the terror-inducing dreadwillow trees keep her away.

After a chance meeting, Princess Jeniah and Aon hatch a plan to send Aon into the heart of the carse to unlock its darkest secret. But when Aon doesn’t return, a guilt-stricken Jeniah must enter the carse to try and rescue her friend–even if it means risking the entire Monarchy.

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse weaves together classic fairy-tale elements–a princess, a forbidden land, and a dangerous quest–in a clever, fast-paced adventure that explores the importance of asking questions and the power of friendship.