Falling In by Frances O’Roark Dowell

Falling InIsabelle Bean lives with her mother, a single parent. Her mother grew up in an orphanage and married another orphan so they really have no family. Isabelle’s Dad divorced them. Isabelle’s mother doesn’t seem to know what to make of her daughter or how to make a house a home. Isabelle considers herself an unusual child. She loves to read, especially fantasy, and she has a very vivid imagination. In fact, she thinks there is a real possibility that she is a changeling, a baby left by the faeries in exchange for her mother’s real child. This would explain why she is so different from her mother and why she doesn’t fit in at school.

And then one day, when she is on her way to the principal’s office for not paying attention in class again, Isabelle Bean falls in – to another world, that is. A medieval world where people still believe and fear witches and the only medicines come from healers, who are suspected of being witches if they are single women living in the forest by themselves.

Isabelle finds out that the children in the villages have been sent away so that they will be hidden from the witch. This witch is very angry over a terrible crime committed by some children many years ago and, according to the child she meets, has been killing children in revenge for many years.

Isabelle likes this world, she has a friend, she finds a mentor and she begins to develop a sense of possibilities and accomplishments here. But will this world be torn apart by hate and revenge? Will she be able to stay here? I won’t tell you but I can say that this world causes many changes in her life and attitudes.

I actually listened to this on CD and it had a very nice rhythm to it. Recommended for girls in grades 4-6.

Posted by: Fran

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