THE SISTERS OF STRAYGARDEN PLACE, by Hayley Chewins, Candlewick Press

A riveting middle-grade fantasy about sibling bonds, enchanted houses, and encroaching wildness, lyrically told in eerily beautiful prose

The grass grew taller than the house itself, surrounding it on all sides. It stuffed the keyholes and scraped against the roof. It shook the walls and made paintings shiver.

Seven years ago, the Ballastian sisters’ parents left them in the magical Straygarden Place, a house surrounded by tall silver grass and floating trees. They left behind a warning saying never to leave the house or go into the grass. “Wait for us,” the note read. “Sleep darkly.” Ever since then, the house itself has taken care of Winnow, Mayhap, and Pavonine–feeding them, clothing them, even keeping them company–while the girls have waited and grown up and played a guessing game: Think of an animal, think of a place. Think of a person, think of a face. Until one day, when the eldest, fourteen-year-old Winnow, does the unthinkable and goes outside into the grass, and everything twelve-year-old Mayhap thought she knew about her home, her family, and even herself starts to unravel. With luscious, vivid prose, poet and author Hayley Chewins transports readers to a house where beloved little dogs crawl into their owners’ minds to sleep, sick girls turn silver, and anything can be stolen–even laughter and silence. 

Out September 2020

208 Pages


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

This is a fun middle-grade fantasy book. What a concept! I loved this book, the sisters and this incredible house. About sibling bonds, enchanted houses and encroaching wildness, you will find yourself lost in the throws of a beautiful, imaginative tale written with a lyrical, magical voice.

This book will greatly appeal to middle-grader, ages 10-14.

Plot flows smoothly, captivating readers and spinning a wonderous web toward a brilliant ending. There’s enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged and curious about the ending. The characters are all different and develop nicely. They are fleshed out and creative in personality and goals. Other characters are fun and interesting and the author’s imagination and creativity seems to have no bounds. I love this book and recommend it to school libraries, middle-grade book lovers and of course middle-graders.

I gave this book:

Five golden rating star vector illustration in white background.

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