Tanya is at the end of her rope - and so is her mother. As far as her mother is concerned, Tanya's behavior is destructive and irresponsible, and something must be done about it. Tanya is helpless to explain that the destruction is caused by fairies, nasty little creatures quite different from those in fairytale books, and only she can see them. When she breaks their rules - writing things down about them, for example - she wakes up stuck to the ceiling of her bedroom, at the fairies' mercy.
Her mother sends Tanya to stay with her grandmother, a cold woman who has never appeared very interested in Tanya. She lives in a secluded, rambling old house that is rumored to have secret passageways and hidden rooms, and there Tanya becomes involved in a mystery that full of twists and tangles and very real danger.
I read this aloud to my children, ages 9 and 11, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Typically I read books to them that I've already read, ones either from my childhood that I adored, or others that I've read since and enjoyed so much that I want to share them. It was fun to explore this one for the first time together - and I have to say there were times I was tempted to read on after I'd sent the girls up to bed (but I knew I'd be in Big Trouble if I did, so I managed to resist the temptation). Tanya is a compelling heroine; she certainly has her faults, but she is resourceful and stubborn, learns from experience, and grows in positive ways. The plot is gripping and full of surprises. It has a satisfying conclusion but leaves enough open-ended details and unanswered questions that we are all anxiously awaiting the next installment. Many thanks to Cat at Beyond Books for her recommendation!
Books in the Thirteen Treasures series:
1. 13 Treasures
2. 13 Curses
3. 13 Secrets (to be published in 2011)
13 Treasures (#1 in the Thirteen Treasures series) by Michelle Harrison (Little, Brown and Co., 2010)
Source: My local public library
Also reviewed at:
Beyond Books: "Very well written, humourous and mysterious, this is one book that I will recommend to parents who are looking for something for their kids, or young readers who are looking for a magical and imaginative romp through a world sparkled with faeries – even if they aren’t all sunshine and puppies."
TinasBookReviews: "Balanced with the right amount of fairy tale and scary faeries, 13 Treasures delivered a magical story sure to please any reader who loves magic, faeries and a great mystery."
Valentina's Room: "A very enjoyable and entertaining story for anyone who loves fairy lore, Gothic novels and a bit of mystery."
And here is a link to an interesting interview with author Michelle Harrison over at Cat's blog, Beyond Books.