Sunday, 24 September 2017

13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison

I was captivated by this story.  Often, when fairies are portrayed, they are beautiful, fluttering around on their delicate wings, bringing flowers and spreading goodness. Not so with those that continue to torture Tanya merely because she has written about them in her journal.  As this treatment continues, Tanya's behaviour gets out of hand and her mother is worried and doesn't know what to do.  She settles on sending her to her maternal grandmother's for the summer.

Several weeks at the rural Elvesden Manor should refresh Tanya, but the thirteen your old is less than pleased to be stuck with a seemingly uncaring grandmother and only the ground keepser's son, Fabian, for company.  Turns out that the two will experience far more than they could ever have imagined.

The massive, almost crumbling manor with it's neighbouring spooky woods is the perfect setting for this haunted fairy tale.  If the house with all it's unused rooms doesn't creep out young readers, then the overgrown forest with it's numerous sinkholes most certainly will.  I could clearly picture each hole with it's protective railings, and know that I'd be horrified to come across one of them in the woods even during daytime

Tanya and Fabian make a good team.  They don't really want to be friends, but decide to make the best of a situation not to their choosing.  They act like real children by pushing the boundaries to see what they can get away with and by covering for each other when caught.

This is a wonderful debut novel by author Michelle Harrison.  She has created a cast of characters, both human and fairy, that demand to be heard from again.  Parents will enjoy reading along with their middle school children.  The story continues in 13 Curses.

Cover image courtesy Hachette Book Group.


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