Review sponsored* by J.L. McCreedy
The Children’s Book Review | November 21, 2015
Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen
Written by J.L. McCreedy
Age Range: 10-16
Hard cover: 262 pages
Publisher: Penelope Pipp Publishing
What to expect: Travel, Vivid Writing, Fantasy, Friendship, Female Protagonist
Before even beginning to discuss J.L. McCreedy’s Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen, it is important to note just how extraordinarily well written and sophisticated this book is. The exciting story and themes are of a caliber not often seen in writing for young people. At the level of the sentence, as well as in terms of the overall narrative arc, the book is finely crafted, with vivid settings and captivating characters. As much as young readers will get swept away by the story—an integral part of developing imaginations and devoted young readers—they will also get swept away by the beauty of the prose that carries the story along.
This story centers on the titular heroine, and her extraordinary adventures. As the book’s creative “Warning” tells the reader at the outset: “This is a tale about a remarkable girl who is forced to face unimaginable things.” The novel’s beginning coincides with the formation of a new friendship between Liberty and Ginny Gonzalez. The girls live in a small American town, but not all is idyllic: Ginny, for one, resides with foster parents (not especially kind ones) and Liberty, who lives with her parents, is considered a bit of an oddball by many people in town. One act of solace, and a nice point of relation for young readers, is Libby’s active imagination and her love of Fairy Tales, especially those of the Brothers Grimm.
This allusion to the classic core of children’s literature is another fine hallmark of McCreedy’s book, and the tie-in to the Brothers Grimm becomes one of the most satisfying turns in the tale. This connection occurs when, one day, a peculiar letter arrives for Libby’s parents, which results in a trip abroad to visit relatives in Germany. It becomes evident that Libby’s own mother grew up in the very town where the Brothers Grimm were born! At this moment the story’s rich (and thrilling) complexities intensify, and its mystical, ominous title begins to gain meaning.
An excellent tale, told with real artistry that is sure to captivate all of its readers!
Add this book to your collection: Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen
About the Author
J.L. McCreedy first learned a love of writing (and developed and incurable condition of wanderlust) while growing up in Southeast Asia as the child of missionaries. She holds a B.A. in English and a law degree, freelances as a writer and consultant for charitable organizations, and whenever possible, drags her splendid husband across the globe on ill-planned, shoestring adventures.
She is currently living in Borneo where she is working on her next novel.
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