Cushman, Karen. Grayling’s song. Clarion Books, 2016. “Uncorrected proof.” “Publication date: June 7, 2016.” 224 pgs. $16.99. ISBN 9780544301801. “Ages 10-12.” P7Q8
When the hedge magicians and wise women are magically attacked and transformed into trees, Grayling, whose mother has always called her “Feeble Wits”, is the only person available to call the rest of the magic users together to break the spell. Along the way, she must also find her mother’s stolen grimoire. Grayling, less than enthusiastic about the quest, salvages unbroken jars of herbs and potions, a bit of food, and sets off into the unknown. Karen Cushman’s familiarity with medieval life comes through in this fantasy work, weaving together the hunger of a poor girl on the road, the various companions that Grayling finds, and the confidence she gains along the way. While Newbery Medalist Cushman’s books Catherine, Called Birdie and The Midwife’s Apprentice are stronger stories, this fantasy is a solid addition to her body of work. Recommended for middle and high school libraries as well as public library collections.
June 2016 review by Jane Cothron.