Review of The Tiltersmith

The Tiltersmith The Tiltersmith
by Amy Herrick
Middle School    Algonquin    320 pp.   g
4/22    978-1-64375-099-6    $17.95
e-book ed.  978-1-64375-288-4    $15.95

A freak snowstorm, when it should be spring, ushers in a story in which earth science, fantasy adventure, and mythical archetypes collide. Edward, Danton, Feenix, and Brigit are ordinary middle schoolers, albeit with vibrant personalities and extraordinary interests. Scientific Edward finds an unusual cocoon, and while he intends to study it, he can’t seem to keep the thing solidly in his memory. Rebellious Feenix meets a strange green fellow in the woods who asks for her help and gives her some juggling balls; these, too, become ­difficult to remember. When the devilish and sly Superintendent Tiltersmith arrives at their school and turns the principal into a toad, the children embark on a quest to ­rescue a magical Persephone-like Lady from the Tiltersmith and restore equilibrium to the planet and its seasons. Herrick succeeds in crafting a story that feels solidly of this world, even when the protagonists fall through a wormhole or enter a timeless magical forest. Good and evil characters alike are given scintillating personalities and complex motivations, while the story’s villain will send shivers down readers’ spines.

From the July/August 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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