"There ain't nothing like grit. Grit gives you the wherewithall to keep on doing what you're doing, even though it's hard, and it seems impossible and you feel like giving up."
It's October 2, 1872. Magpie Gabbard has just turned thirteen years old. And she is bound and determined to leave her home atop Gabbard Mountain, find her brother Milo, and give him back the foot he sorely needs, so he can get to High Jerusalem.
Magpie's quest is not without its difficulties: Big Mama is bound and determined not to see another of her underage children go off-mountain, never to return. There's also those pernicious Sizemores down in Squabble Town to think about, and the dreaded Cob Hollow Goblins to avoid. And then there's the fact that Milo is living inside a hollowed-out sycamore somewhere in faraway Pergatory, Kentucky. Plus, Milo's got a deadline: he has to get to High Jerusalem by October 16th.
Help comes to Magpie from some most unusual sources: the moon, Granny Goforth and her prophesying kettle, a talking head floating in a well, and a boar called Wild Bill, to name just a few. But, is all this enough to help Magpie find Milo? And can she get to him in time?
For Teachers and Librarians:
Magpie Gabbard and the Quest for the Buried Moon has a little bit of everything. In the genre department, it's part American tall tale, part fairy tale, with a wee bit of time travel thrown in. It is a great companion to a unit on the Appalachian regions of the United States, shining a bit of light on mannerisms, speech patterns, and a peek in general into the ways of 19th century Appalachian life. Or, use it as a springboard for a side study of the famous Hatfield and McCoy feud, or other famous family feuds. Break out a lesson on the interesting vocabulary words used in the book, both real (such as pernicious) and made-up (such as cussedness). Perhaps you'd like to delve into a mini unit on Eastern Kentucky, or Tennessee, or both. There's even a bit of an overseas connection in this story (the Gabbards originally came to the US from England), which leads nicely into having your students research their roots. How did their own families find their way to America? There are so many ways to branch out with this book. Which will you choose to share with your students?
For Parents, Grandparents and Caregivers:
Magpie Gabbard and the Quest for the Buried Moon is, when it comes right down to it, a story about the bonds of family. And the Gabbard family, like most, is not without its warts: misunderstandings amongst family members, a long-running feud with the Sizemore family down-mountain, and a love for each other that's so strong. Display Comments Add a Comment