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In Tag’s world, children are disappearing. “Youngers” who venture Outside are windswept—vanishing in the swirling snow—Tag’s sisters among them. Many have tried to find the lost children; all have failed. And since the Other Times, the Powers That Be seem intent on keeping it that way.
Little remains from those times: snippets of songs, heaps of plastic trash, and a few banned texts—including a book of fairy tales.
An unlikely crew of Youngers join forces—Boots, who can climb anything, Ant, who will eat anything, Ren, who will say anything, and Tag, who doesn’t appear to have any talent whatsoever. With their dubious skills, the fairy tales, a possibly magic ribbon, and an unwillingness to accept “that’s impossible,” they set off to rescue their windswept siblings in this spellbinding fantasy.
Includes a Map and Black-and-White Illustrations by award-winning artist Armando Veve
— Jonathan Auxier, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Gardener and Sweep
"Inspired primarily by the Norwegian fairy tale “The Three Princesses in the Mountain Blue,” this edgy, somewhat dystopian tale set in a world where race holds no significance masterfully blends European fairy-tale motifs with timely warnings about human greed, waste, and destructiveness while extoling the power of storytelling. . . An inventive, memorable must-read."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Her hypnotic writing will tug at readers’ hearts and keep them mesmerized. Veve’s illustrations and maps add interest and enhance the text. This must-read grand adventure with unlikely heroes will appeal to all fantasy lovers."
— School Library Journal
"Preus grounds the fantasy by detailing the skewed reality of Tag’s everyday life before leaving home and by keeping her thoughts and emotions at the forefront during her journey. . . An engaging adventure story well suited to reading aloud."
"Via sensate prose (outside “tasted sweet and spicy and slightly dangerous”) and jam-packed worldbuilding that borrows from Norwegian fairy tales, Preus smartly employs the fairy tale form to investigate ethics around avarice, exploitation, and communal priority."
— Publishers Weekly
"The tone here is pitch-perfect, capturing that particular fairy-tale flavor of the absurd mingling with the deeply serious; slapstick alongside real suspense; and language being bent, re-purposed, and enjoyed for its own deliciousness."
— The Horn Book Magazine