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Author: Gayton, Sam
Illustrator: Bernatene, Poly
Year Published: February 2016
ISBN: 9781481447690
Grades: Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7

The Adventures of Lettie Peppercorn

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Snow – to someone who has never seen it, is seems as if the flakes are wondrous delicate diamonds that sparkle in the light. Which can make a lot of money for a merchant if he conveniently forgets to mention they melt. But more importantly snow can be an essential barrier for one little girl, whose body will start to revert back to granite as hard as the ground beneath her feet, should she ever step foot off the ladder of her house…
Lettie Peppercorn is as plucky a heroine as you’ll ever meet – no matter the circumstances of her birth. She keeps house for the inn her and her father run together (when he is not drinking away their savings) and lives by a mysterious note her mother left one night, which warns her against going outside, and promises to come back for her. When a strange merchant shows up on her doorstep, followed by the plucky boy who gave him a ride, Lettie’s life is turned upside down. Why is her pet pigeon turning to stone, and what does it have to do with her? Where is her mother, and was she truly a great alchemist? Armed with a bit of her own alchemy, and a whole lot of spunk, Lettie sets out to figure out what happened to her mother and to understand the mysteries of “snow” .
A fantasy of different sorts, Sam Gayton shies away from the traditional, making up his own world of hot air ballons, alchemy that turns people into the last thing they ingested, and a race of people who grow flowers, trees and herbs from their shoulder depending on their mood. A fairly easy read for grades 4 to 6, “The Adventures of Lettie Peppercorn” is a fun and odd read, sure to please those kids looking for something more than princes and princesses.

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