Wind by Ellen Dee Davidson
In a unique blend of high fantasy, earth mysticism, and mythology, Katie’s adventures begin when an earthquake tumbles her onto another world. Thrust into a dangerous initiation quest, Katie’s only chance to get home is to learn to accept herself and cooperate with an arrogant alien boy. On the journey, the two of them encounter all sorts of extraordinary characters including a shape-shifting tree spirit, water god, and nature devas. But will they ever be able to find the elusive and ethereal Winged Ones-the only beings able to take them home? Wind is high fantasy similar to classics like The Wizard of Oz, Narnia and A Wrinkle in Time, with a contemporary environmental twist spiced with bits of mythology.
Wind by Ellen Dee Davidson is simultaneously like walking through a field in bloom on a perfect spring day and like walking into Narnia or the Wizard of Oz—full of suspense, magical imagery, and an adventurous quest.
Katie’s world is already unraveling as her parents discuss a possible divorce. As their last argument becomes so heated that Katie herself gets involved—saying and doing mean things that she now regrets—Katie experiences a literal and figurative earthquake. An earthquake that rocks her world and sends her into an In-between place and into an adventure unlike any other. As Katie meets Za, a young, blue, gnome-like alien whose guardian sends them on a journey quest by giving them two gifts, she and Za discover new forms of beauty and interconnectedness both in themselves, each other, and in the world around them.
Rife with scientific facts about the Earth’s ecosystem and woven as a tapestry like the elemental design of nature, with bits of Mexican and Irish history and heritage teachings, this book also offers a mirror into other cultures and into our own world. The writing in this book is the most poignant in the scenes where the author describes the trees’ support systems, their root structure, and the way they support one another and the rest of nature. In these passages, the writing is seamless, and it carries a passion that I think almost anyone can relate to. I loved the reminder that the Earth and human inhabitants are in a symbiotic relationship. Ellen’s writing was not only that reminder, but also carried a warning for the consequences should we fail to hold up our end of this contract with the Earth. Dania says in the book, “What I’m saying is that as you heal yourselves you will also be healing your Earth.”
Written in a style like that of Chronicles of Narnia, Wind by Ellen Dee Davidson comes highly recommended by Amazing Family Books. Wind is a dystopian, middle grade novel that illuminates the intricate harmony which exists in nature and in society, reminding all readers that we each have an impact on the world around us. A must read for all middle graders, teens and young at heart readers.
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