The Story Web

336p. Bloomsbury. Jun. 2019. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781681195254.
Gr 3–6—Told in multiple perspectives, this story depicts magical realism with real-life consequences. Long ago, animals and humans were connected and able to communicate. Humans shared their stories and spiders wove them into the Story Web, but the stories are no longer shared and the connection has been lost, which has brought about the Freezing. The animal council has gathered and is desperately trying to communicate with Alice, who as a child followed a strand to the Story Web. Yet she no longer believes in the power of stories since her father, who is suffering from PTSD, was hospitalized following a breakdown that Alice blames on herself. Alice, along with classmates Lewis and Melanie, tries to help, but it is not until all three children share their truth and realize how fear and rumors can twist into harmful stories that the Freezing can be stopped. Readers who enjoy quiet, slow-building action will be rewarded with an emotionally satisfying conclusion. The importance of sharing one's stories is a theme that will resonate with many.
VERDICT Recommended for collections where magical realism is popular and stories about PTSD are needed.

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