Monday, May 12, 2014

Spotlight: Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen by J.L. McCreedy

Publisher: Penelope Pipp Publishing
Release Date: February 2012
Visit the Author: Website|Book Website|Twitter
Buy the Book: Amazon|B&N
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

About the Book:
The average ten-year-old girl seldom travels far from home. She doesn’t worry about being kidnapped by witches or imprisoned in medieval castles where children are ensnared to meet their unspeakable demise. She rarely gives thought to curses, potions and magic. She certainly isn’t concerned about risking life and limb to decipher ancient rites and lost treasures....

But Liberty Frye is about to discover that she is not just your average girl.

When a cryptic note from long-lost relatives arrives, the news it brings flips Libby’s small-town existence upside down. Soon, she finds herself lured to a foreign land where retired witches, talking bats and geriatric World War II pilots await. It’s up to Libby to unravel the sinister plot that brought her there in the first place, but in so doing, she’ll uncover a shocking secret that will change her life forever ... if she survives the challenge.
This is the story of Liberty "Libby" Frye, a young girl from the American South, who finds herself lured to a foreign land where she falls into the clutches of an evil witch with sinister plans. Libby will need to rely upon her wits and courage, as well as the help of some friends, if she hopes to save not only herself, but also those dearest to her. This is a tale that blends adventure, humor, and mystery, while at the same time showcasing positive values such as loyalty, bravery, and integrity. It is a middle grade novel with strong characters that can serve as positive role models, particularly to young girls.

(from the front of the book):

This is a tale about a remarkable girl who is forced to 
face unimaginable things. It should not be read by 
those who despise anything out of the ordinary, who 
disapprove of smart (and somewhat stubborn) young ladies, 
or who disdain any hint of adventure. Nor should it be read 
by those who believe that the world around them is as it 
seems, because at least in this case, it definitely is not. No, 
this tale is filled with treachery and mystery and with exploits 
so daring that only the very stalwart should dare to read. 
And so, if one should find this document and feel compelled 
to proceed, it is strongly advised to do so with caution, in a 
supervised manner, and no matter what, never, ever read this 
 tale within one hour of eating.

My Thoughts:
I am always happy to be able to read and review a good middle grade fiction book. While I am past the target age group, I like to read a wide variety of things, and sometimes a book like this is just the ticket. It didn't take me long into reading this book to realize that Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen is one of my favorite kinds of books--the ones with strong female characters. Libby may be ten years old, but she has a mind that, to me, reads far beyond her age. Her as the main character creates an absolutely lovely book filled with lots of adventure.
Libby's life is not as it seems to be, and she's never really understood why her parents were so overprotective of her. One day, her small town life is in for a big change when her family receives a yellow envelope that whisks her off for Christmas with grandparents in Germany she didn't even knew existed. That is where the story really gets going! 
I would go so far as to say that Liberty Frye is one of the best middle grade books I've read in a really long time. Right up there as a favorite with Daisy and the Pirates(who I'm doing a character interview with tomorrow), the Harry Potter series, The Spiderwick series and a few other awesome series. I would highly recommend this book for readers of all ages. It has a really good message of bravery and reads really well. To be completely honest, one day(many, many years from now, haha) when I have kids of my own this is a book that I'll read to them. It's that good! 
*I received this book for review from the author, but this in no way affected my thoughts as expressed in this review* 

About the Author: 
 J.L. McCreedy is a shoe-string traveler, a street food fanatic and a (confused) attorney who prefers writing stories over legal briefs.  Her debut novel, Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen, is a middle grade fantasy blending fairy tale elements with real-life locations.

She first learned a love of writing — and developed an incurable condition of wanderlust — while growing up in Southeast Asia as the child of missionaries.  (Although it has been mentioned more than once that nice, missionary children do not pen novels about witches.)

In addition to working on her next book, she freelances for various magazines, consults for charitable organizations and keeps up her budget travel/lifestyle site:

She currently lives in a cute, crumbling apartment in Tianjin, China with her husband, a pet gecko and an assortment of dehydrated, potted plants.

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