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Do You Believe in Fairies?

Do you? Do you imagine them as beautiful little creatures, kind and playful? Well, if you could see them, see them the way 13-year-old Tanya sees them, you’d know the truth. Fairies are not beautiful; they are not nice. They can be mischievous and downright cruel. Tanya would know. No one else can see them, but the fairies can sense that she knows what they are. They watch her and punish her if she tries to tell anyone what she sees.

Tanya’s mother can’t see them. She just knows that her daughter is always surrounded by trouble and that she needs a break. So her mother sends Tanya to her grandmother’s house for the summer. But her grandmother’s house is always filled with fairies and secrets. These secrets prove irresistible when she and the caretaker’s son, Fabian, attempt to solve the mystery of Morwenna Bloom. Fabian’s grandfather was blamed when Morwenna vanished into the fairy-infested woods fifty years earlier, though his involvement was never proven.

When Tanya discovers a girl named Red hiding in the secret tunnels under her grandmother’s house, she learns a lot about fairies. She learns how to protect herself from them and just how terrible they can be. But is it all connected? Fairies and Red and Morwenna and her grandmother and Fabian’s family and the old witch named Mad Morag who lives in the forest? And when the fairies discover what she’s up to, what will they do to stop her?

13 Treasures is the beginning of a trilogy of juvenile fiction books by Michelle Harrison. These books are definitely for the older end of young readers, since there are a lot of scary situations and even instances of abuse and torture, especially in the later books. If your reader is able to handle the Harry Potter books, then he or she shouldn’t have any problem with these books. The books manage to create a dark and dangerous magical world that is navigated with a childlike curiosity. The effect is a modern-day story that feels as though we’re reading a fairy tale, but not the Disney version:  one of the original Grimm fairy tales that doesn’t romanticize all things magical.

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