GENRE: Middle grade fiction (fantasy)
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Eleven year old Macy dreams of action and adventure that will take her far beyond her family’s farm. But what will happen when that adventure finds her?
Long ago, faeries were banished from the land after a legendary battle. So long ago that many wonder if faeries really exist or if the battle was just a tall tale. But one mysterious night, Macy’s mother is attacked, and ever since, unusual things start happening. Missing items, changing moods, and most strange of all, the family’s sheep start behaving unusually.
Her mother is suddenly determined to get rid of the sheep, and Macy suspects that the reason may be sinister. When Macy meets a boy her age, the aloof and sarcastic Jay, they embark on a journey to discover the truth and save her mother. In this twist on The Wonderful Birch, you won’t find kings, queens, or evil stepmothers. Instead, you’ll find two courageous pre-teens from the outskirts, ready to defend Odele from the magical forces that threaten it.
Read an Excerpt
The sun was just starting to set on the rolling hills of the Jensen property. Laurel Jensen climbed the nearest hill, the wind whipping at her graying curls. She looked all around, searching her surroundings.
Where did that sheep run off too? she thought with frustration. She looked back towards the pen, where she could see the rest of the flock grazing. With a sigh, she turned from them and continued on in search of the silly creature.
“How many times have I told Macy to keep the pasture gate closed?” she muttered, gathering up her skirts as she began to climb a particularly steep hill. Though her boots were sturdy and built for the rough terrain, Laurel much preferred flat ground to these hills. Each step left her more winded than the last.
All at once, she slipped and landed hard on her hip. In a panic, she reached into her pocket on that same side and pulled out a clay, beaded necklace that her daughter had given her earlier that morning. She breathed a sigh of relief to see it unharmed.
“Happy birthday, Ma!” Macy had said. Her brown curly locks framed her face, making her look much older than her eleven years. “I made it just for you.”
Laurel smiled as she remembered, knowing these moments would become scarce in the next year or two. She put the necklace around her neck and then flinched as she reached down to rub her bruised hip. She exhaled and picked herself up to continue up the hill. At the top, she saw a treeline not far ahead. Feeling hopeful, she began her descent in that direction.
About the Author:Author Torina Kingsley masterfully creates a world where things aren’t always as they seem. Beyond the Birch is an imaginative spin on an old folktale that reminds us all to hold our loved ones close and always believe in own our capabilities.