“I think of my grandmother -- how sturdy she was. An anchor that could not be moved against her will. Many feared her, the strong tenor of her voice, her wild dark hair -- I never saw her take a brush to it and it often caught in the wind and bound into knots, but moments later it was silk down her back. She was a marvel. And I wish I was her right now, I wish I knew what she knew.”
Nora Walker is rumored to be a witch. She is a finder and can find things that are lost and missing; the Wicker Woods near her family home tolerate her presence and help her find what has been lost. Coming from a long line of strong women, she is grieving her beloved grandmother and does not relate well to her rarely there mom. She'll need her strength, her courage, and forces that she's not sure she possesses in order to face the mystery at the center of the story.
What Ernshaw does so well is create a rich winter tapestry framed within a spooky, slightly off kilter setting. I also love her commentary on witches, strong women, and the way boys in groups can behave. Both Oliver and Nora are richly drawn, compelling, and compassionate.
A tender budding romance, an unlikely friendship, and a mysterious event are all at the core of this haunting tale. A boy is missing and another boy is dead, and Nora Walker will find herself at the crux of this grisly mystery, doing her best to keep herself from unraveling.
K. Ashley Dickson-Ellison is a former high school English teacher (who is now an instructional technology teacher) interested in exploring the integration of trending young adult literature into the English classroom experience. Ashley is also a member of the podcast Unabridged; check out the podcast site below.
Please note: All ideas and opinions are my own and do not represent my current or past employers.
© K. Ashley Dickson and Teaching the Apocalypse 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to K. Ashley Dickson and Teaching the Apocalypse with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All thoughts and ideas are the author's and do not represent any employer.