The Hike to Home (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022) by Jess Rinker was a fun read with interesting connections to Arthurian legends, Freemasonry, and 19th-century mountaineer Annie Smith Peck.
12-year-old Lin Moser is miserable. After a life of traveling with her parents as part of the popular YouTube home renovation show, Moseying with the Mosers, she’s stuck in New Jersey while Dad renovates without cameras. Lin will have to go to actual school, while her mother is away on a twelve-month film residency. But rumors of a castle, combined with new friends, and Lin is off filming her own adventure. And, of course, there’s trouble along the way.
I love how this character was inspired by two strong women.
Jess Rinker writes fiction and nonfiction. Read about her here and check out all her books here.
Writing is like your fingerprint—it’s just you.
The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog (Dutton Children’s Books, 2016) by Adam Gidwitz and illuminated* by Hatem Aly is a differently told medieval tale that was very fun.
“The king is ready for war.” Against three children and their dog. The setting is a French Inn where travelers gather to discuss the strange events. Each person knows a part of the tale. Along the way, we meet the peasant girl named Jeanne, the young monk named William, and the Jewish boy named Jacob. Each has a special gift: visions of the future, supernatural strength, and healing. And, of course, there’s Gwenforte the dog, who has come back to life.
*this term is explained in the book.
This book is a Newbery Honor Book and Winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award.
Adam has also written the Grimm series (Tall Dark and Grimm is on Netflix), the Unicorn Rescue Series, and some Star Wars books. Check them out here. Read about Adam here.
Read about the fabulous illustrator Hatem here. See all the books he’s illustrated here and I enjoyed looking at his sketchbooks.
The thing to go for is speed. Nothing puts the reader off more than a great slab of prose at the start.