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Continued: New children's books from Midwestern authors

  • Article by: ANN KLEFSTAD , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 9, 2014 - 3:37 PM

In gorgeously written and fast-paced adventure through forest and flood, bandits and courtiers, wolves and queens and witches, the boy and the girl must stop a war, restore magic to its rightful place, and find their own places in a world they’ve helped to make bigger. Barnhill is a fantasist on the order of Neil Gaiman, and this story feels fully inhabited.

Barnhill will be at Red Balloon in St. Paul 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16 and Wild Rumpus in Mpls. at 1 p.m. Sept. 27.


“The Scavengers,” by Michael Perry. (HarperCollins Children’s, 336 pages, $16.90, grades 3-7, pub date Sept. 2.)

Michael Perry is known for his stellar rural adult nonfiction, such as “Population: 485,” and “Truck: A Love Story.” A Wisconsin farm now becomes the beautifully evoked setting of the Dystopian tale of 12-year-old Ford Falcon (real name: Maggie). She takes her new name from the abandoned car she sleeps in, and supports its menace with homemade weapons and training in combat from the old farmer next door (and his high-strung rooster).

As the book opens, Maggie is just a part of a community that’s making a hardscrabble go of it in tough times. But then her father disappears, and she learns that her family is at the center of the plot that created the current corrupt government, which doses people with a substance that addicts them to the genetically engineered food that they must eat to survive.

Perry’s tough and tender story rings true to kids’ experiences of an adult world that sometimes betrays the young.

Perry will be at Valley Bookseller in Stillwater at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 8, and at Monkey See, Monkey Read in Northfield on Sept. 9.


Ann Klefstad is an artist and writer in Duluth.


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