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About The Book

"Powers of the air, be here now. So mote it be."

Nell is a wild child. Conceived on May Morning, she is claimed by the piskies and faeries as a merrybegot, one of their own. She is the village cunning woman's granddaughter: herb gatherer and healer, spell-weaver and midwife...and, some say, a witch.

Grace is a Puritan minister's daughter: beautiful and refined, innocent and those who think they know her. But she is hiding a secret -- a secret that will bring everlasting shame to her family should it ever come to light.

A merrybegot and minister's daughter -- two girls who could not have less in common. Yet their fates collide when Grace and her younger sister, Patience, are suddenly spitting pins, struck with fits, and speaking in fevered tongues. The minister is convinced his daughters are the victims of witchcraft. And all signs point to Nell as the source of the trouble....

About The Author

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Julie Hearn was born in Abingdon, England, near Oxford, and has been writing all her life. After studying to be a journalist, she worked in Australia and lived in Spain, before returning to England, where she worked as a features editor and columnist. She is now a full-time writer. Her first book published in the United States was The Minister's Daughter.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (December 26, 2006)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780689876912
  • Grades: 7 and up
  • Ages: 12 - 99
  • Fountas & Pinnell™ Z+ These books have been officially leveled by using the F&P Text Level Gradient™ Leveling System

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Raves and Reviews

"A deliciously lyrical novel that is powerful, suspenseful, and taut, with danger on every page."
-- Libba Bray, author of A Great and Terrible Beauty

"With its thought-provoking perceptions about human nature, magic and persecution, this tale will surely cast a spell over readers."
-- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Hearn creates a richly magical ambiance, straddling the line between the supernatural and the concrete realm of human passions and weaknesses."
-- Horn Book, starred review

"Dramatic and frothy...provocative."

"A well-written historical novel that reads like a mystery."
-- Wall Street Journal

Awards and Honors

  • Horn Book Fanfare
  • ALA Best Books For Young Adults
  • Bank Street Best Books of the Year
  • Aesop Accolade
  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List High School Title
  • Texas Tayshas High School Reading List
  • Kirkus Editor's Choice
  • USBBY Outstanding International Book

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More books from this author: Julie Hearn