Reviewed by: Michael Thal
Genre: Fantasy/Middle Grade
Approximate word count:60-65,000 words
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A daughter of missionaries, J.L. McCreedy grew up in Southeast Asia. In college she studied English and earned a law degree. Today she freelances as a writer and consultant for charitable causes. She is currently working on her next Liberty Frye adventure.
Liberty Frye, a middle school student’s world is turned upside down when a stranger named Iorgu enters her small Mississippi village requesting directions to the most unvisited house in town—the Frye home. He has come all the way from Germany with a manila envelope for Libby’s mom. It’s also the day Libby meets Ginny, a sad chubby girl destined to become her best friend. The message in the envelope precipitates an unexpected trip to Mrs. Frye’s native Germany, meeting grandparents Libby didn’t know were alive, and discovering a family heritage of witches.
In a playful writing style kids enjoy, J.L. McCreedy brings us Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen. The entertaining cast of characters include the Snookles, Ginny’s foster parents, Uncle Frank, an eccentric inventor living in a dilapidated home in the woods, and Libby’s mom and dad, who keep dark secrets as they hide away in Baluhla, Mississippi. When the setting moves to Germany the characters become even more bizarre. Take Iorgu, the messenger, who has the perfect job for a man who can transform himself into a crow. Though Libby’s grandmother comes across a bit weird, she seems normal next to Sabine, the ugliest woman Libby had ever met. However, her frightful exterior is nothing compared to the beautiful Zelna, an evil witch whose plans, if come to fruition, could destroy Libby forever.
No significant issues
Rating: **** 4 stars