Wendy Lamb Books/Penguin Random House
THE STORY(from Goodreads)
An enchanting novel from bestselling author Alice Hoffman: a charmed New England village, a family secret, and a friendship destined to defeat a witch.
"Some things could only be found in Sidwell it seemed: pink apples, black owls, and my brother, James."
Twelve-year-old Twig's town in the Berkshires is said to hide a winged beast, the Monster of Sidwell, and the rumors draw as many tourists as the town's famed pink apple orchards. Twig lives in the orchard with her mysterious brother James and her reclusive mother, a baker of irresistible apple pies. Because of a family secret, an ancient curse,Twig has had to isolate herself from other kids. Then a family with two girls, Julia and Agate, moves into the cottage next door. They are descendants of the witch who put the spell on Twig's family. But Julia turns out to be Twig's first true friend, and her ally in trying to undo the curse and smooth the path to true love for Agate and James.
Alice Hoffman is most known to me for her adult fiction novels. She always manages to write interesting characters with a twist, a notable example of which is her novel Practical Magic. When I spotted Nightbird, a Middle Grade book, in my stack I was intrigued and was not disappointed after I read it.
Ms. Hoffman's story of Twig, a young girl in a magical town with no friends thanks to a certain secret, piqued my interest. We easily slip into Twig's skin and experience all her emotions and want desperately to be her friend. When Julia and Agate move to town, Twig begins to know what having friends is really about. The three of them try to uncover a mystery that directly affects all their lives and reveals Twig's secret.
Ms. Hoffman's storytelling is both entertaining and engaging with an easy flow to the story. Nightbird has all the "magical" touches you would expect from an Alice Hoffman novel. It's a wonderful way to lose yourself for an afternoon.