By Janet Taylor Lisle
Available now from Open Road Media
A Newbery Honor Book
It's hard for me to be objective about AFTERNOON OF THE ELVES. I first read it as a child, when the Apple Signature edition came out. I was entranced by the cover, of two girls playing with a small carnival, the title, and the fact that "Apple Signature" sure sounded fancy.
Reading it as an adult, it's a very simple story, but it introduces complex ideas in a way that's easy for kids to understand. Hillary makes friends with school outcast Sara-Kate Connelly when Sara-Kate invites her to see the elves in her backyard. Their afternoons together cause Hillary to rethink the way Sara-Kate is treated at school. At the same time, she discovers the secret behind Sara-Kate's strange clothes and food. Hillary has to decide what to do with her new knowledge. It's a story of personal responsibility, as well as knowing when to involve an adult.
I wanted to review the Open Road edition because it promised new bonus material - a personal history, including photos and documents, by Janet Taylor Lisle. The history covers more of her life and career than AFTERNOON OF THE ELVES and may appeal to fans of her other works. However, it's probably of limited interest to the youngest readers of the book.
AFTERNOON OF THE ELVES is a classic, so I am happy that it's been released in a nice ebook edition. It's nice to know that a new generation will have access to a title I loved so much.