By Claire Dean
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780618883905, 256pp.)
Publication Date: April 2008
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Polly Greene has always been considered strange, a girl who can see a person’s true colors, a thirteen-year-old more comfortable foraging in the woods with her eccentric grandmother than hanging out with friends. But all that is about to change when Polly’s older sister, Bree, vanishes into the woods. The only one who believes Bree can survive, Polly begins to leave food in the woods for her sister and finds a hidden grove she names Girlwood, where she believes Bree is burning a fire each night. Along with an odd but endearing group of friends, Polly clings to the hope that she can see her sister through the harsh, snowy winter. And, in the process, she discovers the cruelty, bounty, and magic of the woods. Will Polly save her sister? And even if she does, will Girlwood survive?
Claire Dean writes from a bright green house behind an ever-growing garden in Idaho. She was inspired to write Girlwood for her daughter, who asked for a story about good stuff. "When I asked her what that meant, she said, 'You know, about hope and magic and fairies and girls.' Good stuff, indeed." Next up is a story for the author's son. To learn more about Girlwood and to find out what color aura you have, visit Claire Dean at www.clairedean.net.
"[I]ntriguing first novel...Dean's celebration of the earthy, living magic that exists 'everywhere'...will lure YAs."--Booklist 02/15/08 Booklist, ALA
"Polly's unflinching belief in beauty and the power to change destinies marries well with the optimistic tone of the novel." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
A fine story of magic and fantasy evolves in a fine read for young adults who want uplifting adventure.” Midwest Book Review