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The Various (2003)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440420296, Paperback)The idea of a race of little people (fairies) living secretly among us has had a powerful hold on the imaginations of writers from Shakespeare to Terry Pratchett and Eoin Colfer. In The Various, Steve Augarde has used this fascination brilliantly to craft the first novel of a trilogy full of breathless action and wonder. When twelve-year-old Midge is sent by her concert-violinist mother to spend the summer at the farm of her sweet but bungling Uncle Brian, her initial resentment gives way to delight in the freedom of exploring the countryside. When she discovers a tiny winged horse lying wounded in an outbuilding, she is awestruck to find out that he comes from a civilization of five various tribes of little people living in a nearby wood—-something readers will have already learned from alternate chapters set in the fairy world. Disaster threatens when Uncle Brian plans to sell the wood to a developer, and Midge and her cousins find (to their own peril), that some of the little people are not as helpless as they seem. Steve Augarde draws on his visual and auditory skills as a BBC animator and picture book author/illustrator for vividly realized detail—-the dumpy and addled fairy queen, the smells and moods of the English summer, the sharply differentiated accents and personalities of each of the five tribes—-in an entrancing debut fantasy. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:41 -0400)
While staying on her uncle's rundown farm in the Somerset countryside, twelve-year-old Midge discovers that she has a special connection to the Various, a tribe of "strange, wild--and sometimes deadly" fairies struggling to maintain their existence in the nearby woods.
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