There are some kids books that retain their charm well into adulthood. For me, [b:Bunnicula|281235|Bunnicula (Bunnicula, #1)|James Howe|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348802537s/281235.jpg|1142982], as well as most books by [a:Beverly Cleary|403|Beverly Cleary|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1197935108p2/403.jpg] and [a:Judy Blume|12942|Judy Blume|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1195238650p2/12942.jpg] rank highly in that category. Then there are other books that were amazing when I was a kid but when I read them now, I wonder how I was so easily hornswaggled. [b:Grandmother's Heart|5642044|Grandmother's Heart|Jim & Dee Patton|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/book/50x75-673c574e721a5d4c3fd6e25b74d42bf2.png|5813491] is a perfect example of such a tale. I was probably in fourth grade when I got that book and I fan fictioned the hell out of it. I still have some of my drawings of what I thought everyone should look like, how and where I would interact with the characters, and other amazing scenes I'd made up out of love for that story. I've tried to re-read it many times and I always fail. It's a short book. It's also an awful book. But it wasn't always awful and I still love it because I had loved it so well when I was 8. 7. Whatever age I was when I first read that marvelous (horrendous) story.
This book probably falls more closely to the latter category. It's a story about a girl, Kara, whose mother was killed for witchery seven years ago and the consequences that has had on Kara, her brother, who was a baby when it happened, and her father as well as upon the rest of the island town's inhabitants who adhere to the Path of Timoth Clen, their religious inspiration, and shun witchcraft and all its evils.
The writing is probably better than what you'll find in Grandmother's Heart, but the story, itself, leaves a bit to be desired for the adult mind. I had some serious problems buying Kara's twelve-year-old self. She seemed closer to fifteen or sixteen. I had a hard time believing in Grace, the Nellie Oleson of this tale, before and after her discovery. I couldn't quite follow the story and had to bridge all the gaps myself. I rolled my eyes vehemently at the last few chapters.
These are things a young reader will overlook. A young reader with imagination will fill those gaps automatically, will insert themselves into Kara and her brother, will insert their enemies into Grace. It will all fit together perfectly.
And the illustrations, simple and stark, are delightful, so that's a plus.
This will be a wonderful book for the 7-12 year-old set. As a read-together with an adult, though...well, the adult is probably going to need a bit of patience and understanding. This was not written for us. It was written for them, the childrens, and I hope they love it. I would have.