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Nevertell

By: Katherine Orton

All that twelve-year-old Lina knows of the world is the Stalinist labor camp where she was born, a place of hunger, cruelty, and deprivation. After a daring escape into the frigid Siberian wilds with her best friend, Bogdan, Lina vows to reach Moscow and find her long-lost grandmother, whom she hopes will help her return to the camp to rescue her mother.

But out in the dark forests and haunted tundras, Lina and Bogdan catch the eye of a vengeful witch, a refugee of oppressive new laws about magic, who commands an army of shadow wolves. She seems drawn to some mysterious power within Lina herself. Pursued by the witch and in fear of recapture, Lina will need every ounce of courage she has—and a whisper of her own magic—if she and Bogdan are to survive the journey and bring hope to a dark place. An enthralling debut that weaves Russian fairy tales through fast-paced adventure.

ISBN: 9781536207125

JLG Release: May 2020


Sensitive Areas: Violence: General, Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War
Topics: Fantasy and magic , Fairy tales and folklore , Paranormal , Supernatural , Ghosts , Russian folklore , Wolves , World War II (1939–1945) , Gulags (concentration camps in the Soviet Union) , Family

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Eleven-year-old Lina lives with her mother Katya in a Siberian work prison in Stalin’s Russia. Her mother arranges her escape with other prisoners, including her friend Bogdan, an amateur cartographer. Lina’s goal is to reunite with her grandmother in Moscow and return to help her mother, but trouble ensues. Lina runs afoul of a spirit hunter n Eleven-year-old Lina lives with her mother Katya in a Siberian work prison in Stalin’s Russia. Her mother arranges her escape with other prisoners, including her friend Bogdan, an amateur cartographer. Lina’s goal is to reunite with her grandmother in Moscow and return to help her mother, but trouble ensues. Lina runs afoul of a spirit hunter named Svetlana who uses ghost wolves to trap souls. Lina and Bogdan attempt to continue their journey, escaping from Svetlana while picking up a ghost girl who says only, “Nevertell.” Lina’s necklace, gifted by Katya, acts as a magical talisman that helps the children and bolsters Lina’s burgeoning plant magic. A few surprise twists bring Lina’s quest to an unexpected conclusion. Orton’s debut novel utilizes an unusual setting for its fantasy adventure. Details of prison life, while age appropriate, seem grimly realistic, as does the frigid Siberian weather Lina encounters. Orton’s straightforward style is readable with detailed world-building. Lina and Bogdan’s skirmishes with guards, the weather, and Svetlana create an everpresent feeling of danger that gives the plot urgency, despite a journey that leads Lina and Bogdan in loops. There are a few places where the story struggles to explain itself—a few of the action scenes seem inserted rather than organic, and readers may wonder about the characters’ complacency when things take a sharp U-turn near the conclusion. An intriguing first novel with equal parts adventure and magic; an additional purchase.

Book Details

ISBN

9781536207125

First Release

May 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

336

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Walker Books Ltd

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence: General, Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War

Topics

Fantasy and magic, Fairy tales and folklore, Paranormal, Supernatural, Ghosts, Russian folklore, Wolves, World War II (1939–1945), Gulags (concentration camps in the Soviet Union), Family,

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