Monday, October 1, 2012

Little (Grrl) Lost

by Charles de Lint
Viking | 2007

Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth is a Little. You know, those tiny 6-inch-tall people that you know from The Borrowers or The Littles books. She lives in the walls of fifteen-year-old T.J.'s house with her family until the day she runs away, right into T.J.'s room. All she has is a tiny dufflebag full of clothes and her attitude. She intends to make her way in the world.

Two weeks later, T.J. discovers Elizabeth in the garden shed, as far as she's made it in the wild world of the Bigs, rife with dangers such as cats and birds and other animals. Elizabeth reluctantly moves into T.J.'s room and they become fast friends.

In order to learn more about the Littles's heritage and to help Elizabeth trace her relatives (for her own family has fled the walls of T.J.'s house after Elizabeth exposed them), the girls decide to go to a reading of an author of children's books featuring Little-like people. But on the way to the bookstore, they are interrupted, separated, and both injured.

What follows is a fantastic story of two girls' journeys, told in both their first-person voices in alternating chapters. The others they meet will stay with you as reader for a long time and the choices each girl makes and how she makes them will leaving you wondering about and respecting each as a open-minded thinker.

This is one of the best books I've read this year (and considering I've read over 150 books so far in 2012, that's saying a lot). Fantasy and realism fans alike will love Elizabeth and T.J. and Charles de Lint's writing. I promise (and that's a big deal--it's important not to make promises in fairyland).

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