School Library Journal Review - The Griffin of Darkwood

Reviewed by: Tanya Boudreau

Gr 4–6—Twelve-year-old Will Poppy loses the ability to write stories after his mom dies. His writing muses follow him, though, right to Sparrowhawk Hall, where he is forced to live with a cruel relative and servants who want to kill him. When he discovers a piece of tapestry his late grandfather owned is magical, he is able to reverse an ancient curse by writing the ending to a story that had begun hundreds of years ago. Words are magic in Citra's latest for middle graders. Will sees magic inside the Ex Libris bookstore and experiences it in the secret passage that leads to a griffin. Curses are real and can destroy lives, but they can be broken with acts of bravery. Families and friends connect through stories, even when they are no longer able to be together. Citra gives the characters passions (palindromes, French cooking, circuses) and quirks (eyes that change color, the ability to take on the feelings of animals) that make them memorable. VERDICT With its mix of mystery and fantasy, this story will appeal to a wide range of tastes.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada

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