Road of the Lost

S. & S./McElderry. Oct. 2022. 336p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781534484993.
Gr 9 Up–Charmed to be invisible to humans, Croi is a mischievous, curious brownie who delights in life’s simple delicious pleasures. She wishes for a family since she lives alone with the Hag, her stoic caretaker of 17 years, in the Wilde Forest. A seemingly simple question sets off a series of events, launching Croi toward her true self and into a potentially dangerous quest. Along her journey she meets an interesting cast of characters who either hinder or help her, presenting obstacles and betraying much of what she believed of her world. Ultimately, Croi must solve the mystery of her identity and do her best to save everyone. This delightful book finds unique ways to tell a quintessential fairy tale, covering many tropes without stumbling into cliché. Azad is clearly a master of her craft, telling her story in the present tense with a lyrical and poetic style. The book includes a full cast of characters and intricate artwork on most pages that provide additional ambiance to the story.
VERDICT A definite purchase for YA collections.

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