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5.0 out of 5 stars Reluctant Readers No More, February 9, 2014
By 
ellen marie (Tornado Alley, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Magpie Gabbard and the Quest for the Buried Moon (Hardcover)
This book is so refreshing. It is a fantasy set in Appalachia in 1872. Based on a little known fairy tale, the story incorporates elements of the original fairy tale, Appalachian folklore, and historical/geographical aspects in a truly captivating way. From the first words, the reader is hooked by Magpie's incredible voice as well as the fantastic scenario.

Milo needs his foot, so that he can get to High Jerusalem to play in the choir. Magpie is the only one who can deliver it to him, but that's not all--the moon is missing, and Magpie is also the only one who can save her and only by bridging the gap between to warring families.

The voice in this book is what stands out. Magpie is a strong female character, but boys love her, too. The thing that really captures readers and keeps them going, however, is the imaginative plot. Although Keehn is drawing from several established legends and fairy tales, the text is fresh and surprising. There are no shocking revelations. Young readers will predict many of the outcomes, but it's a fairy tale--we already know the ending, right? That isn't the point. The journey's the thing, and oh what a journey it is.

I read this to my fourth grade class, and they are on the edge of their seat from beginning to end. This is a terrific book for reluctant readers male and female.

Violence and Sexual Content: Milo cuts off his foot, and the foot is kept on the mantle, stolen by Magpie, and carried around in her pocket. It is wondrously devoid of decay. Scarey goblins figure prominently. The scratch at doors and windows, and have their fingers smashed with pots. The head of a beheaded man floats in a well, and offers direction as a kind of oracle.
At the end of the book, Magpie receives her "monthlies."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh as a Kentucky Mountain Wind, May 20, 2007
By 
Kate Coombs (Utah, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Magpie Gabbard and the Quest for the Buried Moon (Hardcover)
I like fantasies about princesses and British wizards as much as the next person, but it was wonderful to meet up with Magpie Gabbard and follow her breathlessly on her daisy chain of quests through the Kentucky mountains. Though you won't find the word "hillbilly" in the book, Magpie and her clan have a Hatfield-and-McCoy-worthy feud going on with the clan down the mountain. The feud is only one of a number of deftly intertwined plot lines--read this rollicking tale to learn about everything from the the spot on a time-traveling wild boar where the key must be inserted to procedures for handling goblins when they hang around on the porch at night like a bunch of supernatural gangbangers. And then there's the foot: you've got to love a book that starts out, "I mean to visit my brother Milo and give him back his foot." Author Sally Keehn draws on the American tall tale tradition as well as on fairy tale motifs such as the head in the well (who wants his hair combed) and the moon buried in a swamp by goblins. Did I mention that Gabbard honey has teeth-whitening properties, or that Granny Goforth has a prophesying kettle? Face it: we are living in a time when there's a real glut of fantasy on the children's literature market, and many of the books seem to blur together into one big blob of mediocre language and laborious plot construction. But not this book, fortunately--Magpie Gabbard is a standout.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Journey with a Girl You'll Never Forget, April 1, 2007
This review is from: Magpie Gabbard and the Quest for the Buried Moon (Hardcover)
This wonderful book starts with one Magpie Gabbard needing to get her brother's foot back to him. She knows she'll have to brave Goblins, the vicious Sizemores, and her mother's wrath. Not to mention a wild hog. This book grabs you from the beginning and NEVER LETS GO to the very end, which is surprisingly moving and completely satisfying. You will do well to buy a copy for every kid you know, and keep one for yourself.
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Magpie Gabbard and the Quest for the Buried Moon
Magpie Gabbard and the Quest for the Buried Moon by Sally M. Keehn (Hardcover - March 1, 2007)
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