From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7–With the Mississippi River full of magic, and a touch of the Pinocchio effect, a thriving rivery realm spills out into the real world. A human couple has been turned to stone while sitting across from one another in the breakfast nook, and when a few well-meaning people try to help, they too fall under the spell. Only 12-year-old Claire, accompanied by her irascible cousin, Duke, dares to get to the bottom of things. Duke has already been cursed with a horn for not showing an act of kindness, and the girls trust in him backfires when he steers her toward three conniving river trolls. From there, Claire must maneuver a perilous path through troll-river folklore and magical twists. Tongue-in-cheek humor brings a delightful zing to the playfully inventive storytelling and fast-paced plot. Enchanting sketches foreshadow each chapter, adding to the wonder. A new Mississippi River fable has been born.–Robyn Gioia, Bolles School, Ponte Vedra, FL
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Twelve-year-old Claire and other Blue Wing townsfolk know there's something magical about living along the Mississippi River. How else can they explain Claire's bullying cousin Duke suddenly finding a rhino horn growing where his nose was? Or Duke's parents mysteriously turning to stone? Seeking antidotes, Claire, who "can't resist an adventure," joins Duke and a motley trio of river trolls on a quest filled with obstacles, magic, and mayhem that ultimately leads to a showdown with a Rock Troll, who may hold the key to it all. Folksy charm, inventive fantasy, and diverse characters blend in this offbeat river tallish tale. Claire's droll first-person narrative details settings and events with storytelling flair and occasional poetic eloquence, and elegant, shadowy cameo art opens the chapters. Though multiple story lines and back stories--human and troll--occasionally overwhelm, and Claire's narrative sometimes reads older than her years, fantasy fans will still enjoy this humorous, imaginatively rendered story in which trolls wear nylon bicycle suits and bullies get a second chance. Shelle RosenfeldCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved