In this “delightful mash-up of Little House on the Prairie and The Spiderwick Chronicles” (SLJ), experience life on the prairie—with one fantastical twist!
Louisa Brody’s life on the Colorado prairie is not at all what she expected. Her dear Pa, accused of thievery, is locked thirty miles away in jail. She’s living with the awful Smirches, her closest neighbors and the very family that accused her Pa of the horrendous crime. And now she’s discovered one very cantankerous—and magical—secret beneath the hazel grove. With her life flipped upside-down, it’s up to Louisa, her sassy friend Jessamine, and that cranky secret to save Pa from a guilty verdict.
Ten bold illustrations from Erwin Madrid accompany seasoned storyteller Melissa Wiley’s vibrant and enchanting tale of life on the prairie—with one magical twist.
Melissa Wiley is the author of the Inch and Rolyseriesand other books for children, including The Prairie Thief and two series of novels about the ancestors of Laura Ingalls Wilder. She lives in San Diego with her comic-book-writing husband, a half dozen kids, and about 3,000 books. She blogs about her family’s reading life at Here in the Bonny Glen: MelissaWiley.com/blog.
Erwin Madrid is a children’s book illustrator based in San Francisco, where he earned his BFA at the Academy of Art College. He has worked for PDI/Dreamworks Animation on films like Shrek 2 and the Madagascar sequels. He has also done concept art for the gaming industry for titles like Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. In his spare time, Erwin travels and goes plein air painting.
"Fans of the Little House books will recognize the setting and enjoy the fantastic twist. Stylized black-and-white illustrations capture key moments and add to the warm tone. The comedic, unexpected, satisfying conclusion hits just the right note. A pleasing folkloric/historical blend."
– Kirkus Reviews
“A charming, inventive tale that reads like a delightful mash-up of Little House on the Prairie and The Spiderwick Chronicles…Mystery and suspense keep the pages turning. [A] top-notch story.”
– School Library Journal
“Wiley has created an appealing heroine in 12-year-old Louisa Brody and an involving adventure to help her exonerate her jailed father. There’s also humor thanks to the wee Scottish brownie who has found his way out onto the prairie. Wiley’s cleverly constructed story…is not only a fine tall tale but also gives some sense of nineteenth-century frontier life.”