At the tender age of 5, Kara Westfall was dragged from her sleep and her bed by men and taken to see the village leader. She didn't know why or where her parents were, but she knew something was wrong when they took the sack off of her head and she found herself standing in front of the whole village. And then the village leader asked her if she was just like her mother--he asked if she was also a witch.
Years later, Kara and her brother Taff were still outsiders in their village, with people still wondering if Kara was a witch like her mother, even though the village leader determined she wasn't. Magic is against all of the beliefs of her community, and yet, some children are born with a gift for it, a gift that came with a strong call. Can Kara convince the town that magic is simply a power than can be controlled for good or evil? Can she manage it before the town darling (also the town bully) learns to unleash the horrible evil in her heart? And if not, can she at least save the innocent people in the village?
Readers will be captivated by this story that is a clash between the powerful draw of magic and the powerful fear of those without it, as well as the difficulties of living as an outsider in one's own home. The Thickety: A Path Begins by J. A. White (Lexile: 730; Interest Level: Grades 5-8) is the first in the Thickety series, which will be appealing to fans of Neil Gaiman. (496 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.