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THE SONGWEAVERS (The Notherland Journeys)

Author: Kathleen McDonnell

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Publisher: Second Story Press, ©2008

Material: paperback

Summary: The time has come. Peggy is a teenager now, and she decides to sell her flute. But in that single act, she unwittingly started destroying Notherland, the imaginary world of her childhood. To restore the balance, Mi the Nordling travels to the realm of the Songweavers, where creativity begins. In order to bring Notherland back to life, Mi will need the help of Gavi the loon; Molly, Peggy's pirate doll; and Peggy herself. Can she draw enough creativity to bring Notherland to a happy ending? This is the third title in this middle grade fantasy trilogy.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, read aloud book, independent reading, early reader, remedial readers

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up

Interest Level: 9 and up

Reading Level: 4.1

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: The story is captivating and the imagery enfolds you. Even without having read the previous two titles, you quickly become part of Notherland and the journeys of each of its characters. The author does a brilliant job of drawing in new readers. I didn't feel like a "late arrival," but I do want to now find the other two books.

Pros: This is a story that tugs at a child's heart, offering challenge and comfort about what happens to the imaginary worlds they create when they are "all grown up." Although written at an upper elementary reading level, the story would captivate middle school and high school students, too.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book you'll want to read more than once.

If You Liked This Book, Try: THE JOURNEY (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book Two)   ALEX AND THE IRONIC GENTLEMAN   MYTH OF THE SUMMER MOON

Educational Themes: This is a book to be enjoyed for fun. It does offer ways to explore folklore and cultural traditions and the history of storytelling. English teachers can easily use this to talk about allegory and symbolism in literature.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 4.1

Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, fantasy, series book

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2008

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