Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Green Witch by Alice Hoffman

Green Witch
I started reading this beautifully designed book with a sense of déjà vu. Had I read a story about a girl who lives outside a ruined city, making the most she can of the plants that still grow in her garden? About a girl who loved a boy named Diamond? Who truly understood stories?

Why yes, I had. Green Witch by Alice Hoffman (Scholastic) is a follow up to Green Angel, which I read some time ago (and haven’t yet found in my old reviews, though scouring those for YA literature is on hold until Cybils season is over). Here, Green is the maker of stories and specialness, writing down the wisdom of the after times, and gathering knowledge from the local witches in this post-future-war fairytale. Kindness and giving people special moments are looked upon with suspicion, and Green, who can grow gardens and write down people's stories, has lost her love, Diamond. If she can find him, will she still want his love? What if he's betrayed her to the core? And what sort of story must she write--and live--for herself?
If I start quoting, I'll quote the entire book, but here's just a few sentences:

You think you can measure love?
No scale would be strong enough. ... It would break to pieces under the weight.

But that is only one love lesson Green has to learn; she has many to learn about healing.

This is a quick and lyrical read. Even if you're not much of a fan of fairy tales or fantasy, take a look at this book for its absolutely fantastic design.
I read this book as a first-round judge for the Cybils Awards, which means that I may have received a review copy from the publisher (or not; I own a lot of the books in this category). I read some books nominated for the YA fantasy and science fiction category in 2010 before the nomination period, and may have already reviewed them or declined to make a public review; these books might not have a Cybils post tag. As a first-round judge, I was tasked with helping create a shortlist of books. My personal reviews do not reflect any actions or discussions of the judging committee.

1 comment:

  1. Green Witch is a simple book in format and language; it crosses age boundaries because the message is one of how a person, no matter how damaged, can find redemption in nature and the concept of love.
    The main character, Green, is an adolescent who faces devastating loss; she has turned inward and the family garden has withered. Slowly she re-claims the garden as a metaphor for healing and giving what she can to others.


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