by Alice Hoffman
Published March 5th 2015 by Simon & Schuster UK
In her first novel for middle-grade readers , bestselling author Alice Hoffman tells a bewitching story of love and friendship that is truly magical.
Twig lives in Sidwell, where people whisper that fairy tales are real. After all, her town is rumored to hide a monster. And two hundred years ago, a witch placed a curse on Twig’s family that was meant to last forever. But this summer, everything will change when the red moon rises. It’s time to break the spell.
Alice Hoffman has long since been a favorite story teller of mine. Some of her great works include Practical Magic, which went on to be a great movie, The Dovekeepers, and The Museum of Extraordinary Things. I feel she is so much more than an artist which is why I always refer to her as story teller. The magic she weaves is sheer brilliance. It might not be the most fancy face prose out there but she still knows how to craft some of the most well developed characters I have ever read about. That is her strong point, extremely character driven books.
This was such a light yet fulfilling read. In Nightbird, we follow Twig, a girl who does her best to be invisible just as she was always told to do. When a family moves into the manor at the edge of the property, Twig can't help but want to be friends with the sisters Agate and Julia. Even though this is the house that used to be lived in by the witch who cursed her family and the girls are direct descendants of sed witch. Twig and Julia both have people they love affected by this wretched curse so they will do whatever they can to reverse it. Twig and her family had so many secrets that slowly came to light. I loved learning about her parents relationship and her brother James, who is the most fascinating of them all.
This book was a mere 200 pages so it was quite the quick read. It started off a bit slow but Hoffman lays the groundwork for the setting in those essential first pages. I think there is some info dumping but it is so cleverly worded you never feel weighed down by knowledge. If you feeling a bit hesitant about Middle grade this might just be the perfect book to try.