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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
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*        = Good,with reservations


***The Pictish Child

by Jane Yolen

Reviewed July 7, 2003.
Harcourt Brace & Company, San Diego, 1999. 135 pages.
Available at Sembach Library.  (JF YOL).

Here’s the second book in the Tartan Magic series.  Thirteen-year-old twins Jennifer and Peter, along with their four-year-old sister Molly, are visiting their Gran in Scotland, where it seems Jennifer is attracting magic.  The adventures in the different books aren’t really related, but they all happen within a few days of each other.

In this book, a Pictish girl from the distant past shows up in a graveyard, somehow connected with a stone that Molly has been given.  A mist comes toward them, with sounds of terror and war.  They know that they must protect themselves from that mist.  And what should they do with the girl?

Again, this tale is one where magic leads Jennifer by the nose.  However, it doesn’t seem at all unrealistic that she should know what to do—She needs to stay away from that sinister mist.  This is an intriguing tale, perfect for about fourth- or fifth-graders, and also perfect for me as I get ready to visit Scotland.

Other books by Jane Yolen:

The Wizard's Map
The Bagpiper's Ghost

Sword of the Righful King
Sleeping Ugly

Take Joy:  A Book for Writers
Mightier Than the Sword: World Folktales for Strong Boys
The Perfect Wizard:  Hans Christian Andersen

With Robert J. Harris:
Girl in a Cage
Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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