TITLE: The Elephant Tree
GENRE: MG - Magical Realism
Armed with a book of spells and the necklace that was left with her at the orphanage when she was born, ten-year-old Tilly must contact her Haitian ancestors to cast a spell that will bring her broken adopted family back together. A Snicker of Magic with a sprinkle of vodou.
When I was little, I checked every flower I passed, sure I’d find a sleeping fairy nestled inside. Now, at just-turned-ten, I wasn’t so sure that kind of magic existed anymore. Not in my world.
Angry voices echoed up the hall to my bedroom as I blinked sleep from my eyes. I suck in a breath, listening, my eyes trained on the Grumpy Cat poster taped to my ceiling above my bed.
“You’re so stubborn sometimes, Teresa,” Daddy thundered from downstairs. “Why don’t you just admit it? We can’t go on like this.”
That cat looked just like Daddy sounded, all squinchy-faced and angry.
Mama shushed him, then said something in a quieter voice. A few seconds later, the front door creaked, then slammed. So much for Daddy’s birthday pancakes. Sliding Matilda off my nightstand, I burrowed deeper under the covers and traced the soft yellow spine of the book with my finger.
The special hard-backed edition mama got me would keep me company until things calmed down. I’d read it a zillion times, but the words still gave me hope that even the most awful things could work out okay in the end. Right now, I wished I could crawl right inside that story and stay for a while. Matilda was fierce and funny, powerful and magical.
“Happy birthday, baby girl!” Mama said, flinging the door open with a big smile and eyes a bit too shiny for happy thoughts. “Ten years old and nine years mine.”