Publication Date: September 2010
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Winter 2011 Kids' Next List
“Plain Kate is a gifted carver in a world where talent is perceived as witchcraft. When her father and many townspeople die of a flu, Plain Kate is forced to live on her own. To escape being burned as a witch, she trades her shadow for travel gear and her hearts desire. I was hooked till the end by this original, thought-provoking story!”
-- Cinda Meister, Booksmart, Morgan Hill, CA
Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver s daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her witch-blade a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square. For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate. Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he ll give Kate the means to escape the town that seems set to burn her, and what s more, he ll grant her heart s wish. It s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes that she can t live shadowless forever and that Linay s designs are darker than she ever dreamed."