by Lauren Wolk, published 2020
“One more thing I didn’t know how to do. One more thing I would have to do in order to learn how to do it.”
I was not sure what to expect with this children’s book, but what I discovered was an incredibly well-written children’s book, that is beyond extraordinary. Set during the Great Depression, we meet Ellie and her family, all of whom are struggling in one way or another. But Ellie is learning to value her gift of sensitivity, and ultimately her family not only values her gift, but also drops the prejudices against others with the same gift.
The character of the “Hag” is particularly unique and compelling. What image does “hag” conjure up? Whatever it is, the character meets all that, and more, and yet, in the end, turns out to be the most benevolent, caring, and important characters in Ellie’s life. Through the Hag, Ellie discovers who she is, and shares her gifts of healing and intuitive herbal wisdom with others.
This is a much-needed children’s book. Perhaps because it is historical fiction, it allows the author to confront the insane reliance we have on medical interventions and non-intuitive healing, when what the world needs now is something much more gentle and benevolent. I am not anti-science, nor anti-medicine, but they need to work together, and this book shows one way that can happen. A great read!
By the same author: Wolf Hollow