THE ANCIENT ONE, by T.A. Barron, Puffin Books



When Kate travels to Oregon for a quiet week at Aunt Melanie’s cottage, her plans are dashed by the discovery of a grove of giant redwood trees in nearby Lost Crater. Caught up in the struggle to help protect the redwood forest from loggers, Kate is thrown back in time five hundred years and finds herself facing the evil creature Gashra, who is bent on destroying the very same forest. In this extraordinary quest, a girl discovers that all living things are connected in ways she never expected, and that true friendship can reach across cultures, and even across centuries.

“Barron fuses concerns over the natural world with fantasy lit.”
-The Huffington Post, “The 9 Best Trees in Literature”

Out March 8, 2016

304 pages approx.


I picked up this book at a local thrift store and will now offer my honest opinion of it.

I will often look for books in the middle-grade genre that had previously been published to review and share.  I think I do this because at the time the book was originally published, another book or books caught my attention and I’d missed something equally as exciting, but underhyped.

This is one of those books.

T.A. Barron is responsible for the “Merlin” series and I’ve been wanting to read Barron’s other work for some time because I’m a huge fan of the “Merlin” television series that is loosely based on Barron’s books.

When I found “The Ancient One,” I read the premise and knew I had to learn more about the story.  What a find!

The world Barron creates for the protagonist is unique and original.  There are fairies and magic, but not too much, a lot of lore and mystery too. Swept along in a raging river of creativity and imagination, taken on a journey/quest to solve a problem before time runs out, I learned a lot about forestry, owls, and human nature during this read and what trying times will cause humans to do, and how strength comes in many forms, including a child’s desire to save her family, great trees and new friends.

There is a bit of time travel back to the past to a place in danger of being destroyed by the greed of man. Only a little girl, her friends, and aunt can save the day.  It was truly a journey I was glad I embarked on.

The book starts off a bit slow, but it does captivate the reader, drawing them in and holding their attention.  There are terrific Indigenous feels and lots of mystery to unravel with just a tad bit of magic.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read magic realism, lore and adventure stories. You won’t be disappointed.  Sure the book is for ages 9 to 11, but I found it truly entertaining as an adult.

I gave this book:


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