3rd Grade and Up
Eleven-year-old Willodeen adores creatures of all kinds, but her favorites are the most unlovable beasts in the land: strange beasts known as screechers. The villagers of Perchance call them pests, even monsters, but Willodeen believes the animals serve a vital role in the complicated web of nature.
Lately, though, nature has seemed angry indeed. Perchance has been cursed with fires and mudslides, droughts, and fevers. Even the annual migration of hummingbears, a source of local pride and income, has dwindled. For as long as anyone can remember, the tiny animals have overwintered in shimmering bubble nests perched atop blue willow trees, drawing tourists from far and wide. However, this year, not a single hummingbear has returned to Perchance, and no one knows why.
When a handmade birthday gift brings unexpected magic to Willodeen and her new friend, Connor, shes determined to speak up for the animals she loves and perhaps even uncover the answer to the mystery of the missing hummingbears.
For Mother Earth. Thanks for putting up with us.
I was expecting this to be a fantasy adventure, but it turned out to be an environmental story with whimsical made-up animals and a hint of magic.
This story has many fantastical creatures, mainly focusing on the Hummingbears (a cross between a hummingbird and a bear) and the Screechers (a cross between a warthog and a skunk). One species is beloved, and the other is despised. Both animals are used as examples of what happens when the delicate balance of nature is messed with and how it affects everyone.
I really related to Willodeens struggles with friendship and interacting with others. In almost every book I read, the main character has friends, and the whole concept of friendship has always been so strange to me. As a kid, I always felt uncomfortable around my peers. When they talked to me, my first instinct was to escape the conversation as fast as possible. One quote that Willodeen says really stuck with me:
Sometimes I felt like everyone in the village had read the same book about friendship, then tossed it in the river before I could read it.
Friendship seems so easy for some people, while for others like Willodeen and me, its a constant struggle to simply talk to people.
I cant say anymore, or I risk spoiling the story. Overall, this is a beautiful book that I recommend to fans of environmental stories.