Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen
Written by J. L. McCreedy
Penelope Pipp Publishing 11/18/2012
256 pages Ages 8—12
“The average ten-year-old girl seldom travels far from home. She doesn’t worry about being kidnapped by witches or imprisoned in medieval castles where children meet their unspeakable demise. She rarely gives thought to curses, potions and magic. She certainly is not risking her life and limb to decipher ancient rites and lost treasures . . . But Liberty Frye is about to discover she’s not an average girl.
“When a cryptic note from long-lost relatives arrives one day, the news it brings flips Libby’s small-town experience upside down. Soon, she is lured to a foreign land where retired witches, talking bats and geriatric World War II pilots await. It is up to Libby to unravel the sinister plot that brought her there in the first place, but in so doing, she’ll uncover a shocking secret that will change her life forever . . . if she survives the challenge.” [back cover]
Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen caught me from the first page with its riveting writing, interesting characters, and small-town feel gone awry. Libby is an extremely sheltered girl, but no one understands why, least of all Liberty. Her parents are constant vigilantes against some invisible force that may or may not be there. Libby as few friends until the day an equally interesting young girl stops at Libby’s flaming red tree, where Libby is reading. While not instant friends, the two soon become inseparable.
When a portentously delivered letter arrives, Libby’s world begins to unravel. Her grandfather is dying and wants to see his daughter and granddaughter one last time. The Frye’s relent and, despite warnings to the contrary, set off for Germany. There, Libby’s grandmother betrays the family. Now Libby must save her parents and get safely back home. Problem is, Aunt Zelna, the most powerful Hessen witch, wants Liberty Frye as her own.
Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen pits two friends against a powerful witch who wants to become the most powerful witch the Hessen witches have ever seen. For this, she needs Libby. The reader is often not sure whom to trust and neither does Liberty. As in our lives, some characters are both good and bad. Liberty’s sheltered life puts her at a distinct disadvantage, especially when judging trustworthiness of those she encounters. In due time the readers will understand, but not until Libby and Ginny—who convinces a crazy old pilot to fly her across the Atlantic—come face-to-face with the horrid Aunt Zelna and all of her wicked powers.
Most of the chapters had me on the edge of the page, eager to know what will happen next. Because of this, I read Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen over two nights. The action is believable, as are each character; all of whom have some secret to hide. Had Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen met the requirements for a “Best Book on KLR,” it would have received 6-Stars. Few self-published books are publisher-worthy. Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen is one of those rare finds.
Kids will enjoy the Hessen witch world and Libby’s place in it. The characters are edgy and often funny. The Hessen world, past and present, is enticing and curiosities abound. The writing drew me in then the plotting and characters grabbed me. If you like witches, magic, strange happenings, and the cautious spilling of secrets, you will love Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen.
LIBERTY FRYE AND THE WITCHES OF HESSEN. Text copyright © 2012 by J. L. McCreedy. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Penelope Pipp Publishing, McHenry, MS.
J. L. McCreedy: http://tongatime.com/
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Penelope Pipp Publishing: http://penelopepipp.com/
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Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen by J. L. McCreedy, and received from Penelope Pipp Publishing, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”