Afternoon of the Elves

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About The Book

A Newbery Honor Book
An American Library Association Notable Children’s Book
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

Janet Taylor Lisle’s captivating Newbery Honor book explores how, like friendship, magic can emerge when you least expect it—and when you need it most. All you have to do is look deep.

Anything might happen in Sara-Kate’s backyard. For that matter, anything was happening.

For nine-year-old Hillary Lenox, being friends with Sara-Kate Connolly is a complicated business. Sara-Kate’s clothes don’t match, her hair’s a mess, and she’s known to spit at people when they make her mad. But when Sara-Kate shows Hillary the tiny elf village in her overgrown backyard, Hillary decides she can’t be as awful as all that.

Hillary is amazed by the delicate houses, the miniature well, even an intricate Ferris wheel made of bicycle wheels and popsicle sticks. But the more time she spends in Sara-Kate’s yard, the more questions she has. How come they never go inside Sara-Kate’s house? Why is Sara-Kate sometimes missing from school? And why hasn’t Hillary ever seen Sara-Kate’s mom? If Hillary can just look deep enough, she hopes, she will uncover the secrets of the elves—and of her new friend.

About The Author

Photo Credit: Alison Taggart Barone

Janet Taylor Lisle’s books for young readers have received the Newbery Honor Award (Afternoon of the Elves), the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction (The Art of Keeping Cool), Holland’s Zilveren Griffel, and Italy’s Premio Andersen Award, among other honors. A graduate of Smith College and former journalist, Janet lives in Rhode Island and often draws on Rhode Island history in her work. Visit her online at JanetTaylorLisle.com.

Raves and Reviews

* "A fascinating portrayal of a manipulative yet touching friendship."

– School Library Journal, starred review

* "With rare talent, Lisle conveys a girl's vision of magic and truth through a montage of surreal images."

– Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A remarkable, perceptive book to share aloud or savor alone."

– Kirkus Reviews

"With great skill and sympathy, the author brings the little village and Sara-Kate's compelling personality unforgettably to life."

– The Horn Book

"Lisle examines the nature of reality and the hint of magic that pervade the everyday world."

– Booklist

A Newbery Honor Book

An American Library Association Notable Children's Book

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

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More books from this author: Janet Taylor Lisle