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FICTION

Adventures of a Dwergish Girl

Tachyon. Sept. 2020. 192p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781616963361.
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Gr 3-6–Written in Pinkwater’s unique offbeat style, this novel is part legend, part modern(ish) personal narrative. A Dwergish girl (of Dutch descent) who calls herself Molly O’Mally recounts days at home and her community life before telling of her adventures outside of that isolated, peaceful place in the Catskills where Dwerg life has remained the same for generations. Molly leaves her Dwerg village to go to the city of Kingston, NY, where she sells a couple Dwerg gold coins, gets a job in a local pizza shop belonging to a man from Sierra Leone, and sets up a tent of string and garbage bags in the woods behind the shop. On one late night walk in the old town stockade, Molly meets a ghost who becomes a friend and helps Molly understand an apparent plot to use androids to reenact the burning of Kingston from 1777. Molly and her (living) friend, Leni, take a bus trip to New York City to have hotdogs and papaya juice, which Molly later revisits to see the Yorkville witch who can help her solve the mystery. Witty, unorthodox, and highly entertaining twists and turns abound as Molly uses the wisdom of the Dwergs, the help of the local genius DJ, magic parsnips, and her Uncle Norbert’s guidance to save Kingston. Small ink drawings open each chapter with a bit of entertainment and some information about the story.
VERDICT Those who enjoy a good mystery with an unusual plot, strong characters, and smart language will find connections between this unbelievable story and the incredible adventures of real life.

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