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Librarian: Rachel Plant, Bixby Memorial Library

Book: The Mysterious Woods of Whistle Root by Christopher Pennell

Age range: 9-12

Plant's summary: Christopher Pennell's debut novel is a timeless tale of mystery and fantasy. The story transports young readers to the village of Whistle Root, where young Carly Bean Bitters lives with her aunt near the woods.

Poor Carly can only fall asleep during the day, so she spends the nights awake and lonely. But her uneventful life changes when, one night, she spies a squash sitting on the roof! Soon, she begins to form unique friendships in the moonlight: with musical rats on village rooftops; in the dark aisles of the school library, with its magically appearing books; and in the deep, secret tunnels of Whistle Root's woods.

Illustrator Rebecca Bond grew up in Vermont, and her enchanting pen-and-ink drawings add depth and beauty to this whimsical, memorable book.

Why you'll like it: Carly is a winning character, and readers will cheer for her curiosity, courage and loyalty in this well-crafted adventure story. This book is great for both independent readers and parent read-alouds.

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