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Elf Hills (Volume 1) Paperback – December 7, 2014
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About the Author
S. S. Dudley was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and went to school at the Universities of Wyoming and Illinois. He spent a semester living in Bogotá, Colombia, learning Spanish and discovering the works of Garcia-Márquez and other Spanish authors. Before starting his career in writing, he worked as a scientist conducing research in Antarctica, Panama, and Peru. His book, Butterfly Wish, was written while visiting the Amazon for research. He lives in northern California with his wife and two children.
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Top customer reviews
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In the beginning Linda, the main character is only 4 years old, and soon six. She has a fairy friend, Majica, who visits her in the form of a butterfly. It is through one of their play sessions that we are introduced to Linda's cousin Nugu. Majica is going away to a faerie convention and tells Linda she will be gone a long time.
Linda's family lives in a small community at the base of a mysterious mountain. There are many tales and suspicions about the mountain being magical or home to magical creatures. At times it seems to give off an unexplained glow.
Linda is a very curious child and often sets off to investigate the mountain on her own.
Her parents get her a dog, both to keep her company and hopefully as protection as she wanders off.
Nugu ends up being a very good cousin and also tries to keep Linda out of trouble, until he doesn't.
When Linda is nine she decides to investigate more of the mountain.
She has been running with her father and enjoys off road trails.
This is where Nugu actually gets Linda into trouble, rather than keeping her safe.
And they do meet some interesting magical creatures.
I was given this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
I tried to read this with the mindset of a younger reader, or a parent sharing it with young children.
The story is OK, and I will perhaps read a continuation to see what happens next.
I would say it appeals mainly to children between the ages of six and ten.
His newest book ELF HILLS is intended for the age group 9 – 12 – that magical period when pure fantasy needs solid ground to hold the reader’s attention and is precisely what he has created. He grounds his story in the Prologue by stating, ‘This fairy tale, as you might have guessed already, takes place on a hill. Or, rather, on many hills and a mountain or two in Northern California, near what people call the Great Valley. One hill in particular stands out, though, because that is where everything started.’ So we relate to reality with just the glow of fantasy promised.
The synopsis is well composed: ‘Something strange, something magical, is going on in the dusty hills behind the small town of Villaloma. Yet each time Linda Peters puts on her running shoes and sets out to find the enchanted kingdom she imagines--full of dancing elves, unicorns, and more--something stops her. And with school starting soon, she only has a few more chances to really search the hills. While Linda's frustration and doubt grow, her cousin, Nugu, looks for answers in his books and wonders if maybe, just maybe, Linda's stories are real. The day finally arrives when Linda can run far, the day she is sure she will find her magic city. But when she and Nugu feel their goal must lie just beyond the next hill, they only find more hill. Is it all a figment of an over-active imagination; a wistful fantasy? Or is there truly something magical in those hills that only the strong of heart--and leg--can discover?’
To find an author who writes for this 9 – 12 age group who has this much respect for his readers is a tribute to his civility and humanity. Solid writing, fine story, and an invitation to jump in and go with him. Grady Harp, June 16
book. Elf Hills fills a void in modern youth literature with it's enticing, yet wholesome,
story-line and appropriately challenging vocabulary.
I would recommend to any parent or child 8 and up.