The Last Rabbit

Random/Wendy Lamb. Feb. 2021. 288p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780593173534.
Gr 5-7–Eleven-year-old Albie is a rabbit who used to be a girl. At the start of World War II, following the death of her fighter-pilot father, Albie and her three sisters were sent from their home in Cork to Hybrasil, an island off the coast of Ireland, and placed in the care of an old Magician. Rebellious Albie, experimenting with one of her mother’s spells, inadvertently turned all four girls into rabbits, and now, two years later, their mother has been killed in the London blitz. Caragh, Isolde, and Rosina have all reverted to their girlhood state by leaving the island with the Boy, who ferries them to their chosen destinies. When the sea speaks to her in poems and the Magician reveals family secrets, a resistant Albie finally agrees to leave the sinking island to search for her sisters and fulfill her own destiny. With hints of Celtic and Greek mythology, fantastic creatures, and familial devotion, the story is full of action and manages to tie up many threads for a satisfying conclusion. An author’s note explains that the island of Hybrasil appeared on ancient maps until the 13th century. Line drawings appear throughout.
VERDICT A strong choice for fantasy readers with enough reading skill to handle many narrative twists and turns.

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