“The suspense in this magical, adventure-filled story gets started right away and doesn’t let go.”—Robert Beatty, New York Times bestselling author of Serafina and The Black Clock
"Marsh has crafted a sparkling tale full of adventure, magic, and folklore. It’s a delightful mash-up of stories and traditions; imagine Little Orphan Annie crossed with Russian folklore, plunked down in the spiritualist community of Lily Dale, NY, with a dash of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away on top."--School Library Journal, Starred
"There is suspense throughout and heart-stopping moments early on to draw readers into this immensely satisfying story...Well-drawn characters, an original setting, and a satisfying resolution are the ingredients that make this carefully crafted middle-grade adventure a highly rewarding read."--Kirkus Reviews, Starred
“…A beguiling novelization of the Russian Baba Yaga tale… Engaging characters and a suspenseful plot combine for a thoroughly satisfying read… This atmospheric book should find a wide audience.”—Booklist
A main selection of the Junior Library Guild
Twelve-year-old Mary Hayes can't stand her orphanage for another night. But when an attempted escape through the stove pipe doesn't go quite as well as she'd hoped, Mary fears she'll be stuck in the Buffalo Asylum for Young Ladies forever.
The very next day, a mysterious woman named Madame Z appears at the orphanage requesting to adopt Mary, and the matron's all too happy to get the girl off her hands. Soon, Mary is fed a hearty meal, dressed in a clean, new nightgown and shown to a soft bed with blankets piled high. She can hardly believe she isn't dreaming!
But when Mary begins to explore the strange nearby town with the help of her new friend, Jacob, she learns a terrifying secret about Madame Z's true identity. If Mary's not careful, her new home might just turn into a nightmare.
Award-winning author Katherine Marsh draws from Russian fairytales in this darkly funny middle-grade fantasy novel.
Katherine Marsh’s last book, JEPP, WHO DEFIED THE STARS, was A New York Times Notable Book, A Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year, A Junior Library Guild Selection, An Indie Next Pick, An ABC Best Book for Children, An Independent of London 50 Best Books for Christmas, and was shortlisted for the Printz Award. Katherine’s first book, THE NIGHT TOURIST, won the Edgar Award for Best Novel in the Juvenile category, was a Publisher’s Weekly “Flying Start”, featured in the “brilliant and highbrow” quadrant of New York magazine’s approval matrix, optioned by Universal Pictures for a feature film, and was featured in the New York Times, USA Today, and the Washingtonian.
Katherine grew up in New York with her Russian grandmother who lovingly prepared many of the dishes in this book. She currently lives in Brussels, Belgium with her husband and two children.