Goblin Market

Holiday House. Aug. 2022. 256p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780823450817; pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780823455935.
Gr 4-8–Despite their opposite personalities, sisters Elzbieta (Lizzie) and Minka vowed they would stay together forever. Beautiful and vibrant Mink loves going to the village market to purchase and sell food. Lizzie, the quieter of the two, prefers to be at home or in the Wood. Lizzie can see sound as color—and it can be overwhelming for her at times. One day, Minka meets a boy at the market who gives her the most perfect and refreshing fruit. Minka can’t stop talking about him or the fruit. Soon after, Minka grows frail, loses her hair, and falls in and out of a deep slumber. When Minka runs off with the mysterious Emil, Lizzie and her friend Jakob rely on the power of love and their courage to save her from the zdusze’s (goblin’s) spell. Based on Christina Rosetti’s 19th-century Victorian poem, “The Goblin Market,” Zahler’s immersive folktale narrative has just the right amount of spookiness and suspense for middle grade readers. Lizzie is a heroine whom readers will root for, and her sisterly bond with Minka is refreshing. Kids will want to enjoy this in one sitting.
VERDICT A rich folklore setting, goblin magic, and a spooky atmosphere with a hopeful ending make this a top choice for upper middle grade and middle school collections.

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