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The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academyby Nikki Loftin
Synopses & Reviews
A powerful novel about friendship and family that calls to mind Bridge to Terabithia
Twelve-year-old John Fischer Jr., or Little John” as hes always been known, is spending his summer helping his father with his tree removal business, clearing brush for Mr. King, the wealthy owner of a chain of Texas dollar stores, when he hears a beautiful song that transfixes him. He follows the melody and finds, not a bird, but a young girl sitting in the branches of a tall sycamore tree.
Theres something magical about this girl, Gayle, especially her soaring singing voice, and Little Johns friendship with Gayle quickly becomes the one bright spot in his life, for his home is dominated by sorrow over his sisters death and his parents ever-tightening financial difficulties.
But then Mr. King draws Little John into an impossible choice—forced to choose between his familys survival and a betrayal of Gayle that puts her future in jeopardy.
Inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen story, Nightingale's Nest is an unforgettable novel about a boy with the weight of the world on his shoulders and a girl with the gift of healing in her voice.
"Loftin debuts with a smart, fresh, and thoroughly modern retelling of Hansel and Gretel. Nothing is going right for 11-year-old Lorelei Robinson. Her mother's death has torn her family apart, her father has married a woman who doesn't like kids, and her school just burned down. Good thing a shiny new school popped up over the weekend, and it's awesome: there are all-you-can-eat meals, endless bowls of candy on the desks, a playground to die for — and students only attend classes when they want. Lorelei's new friend Andrew is sure there's something suspicious about the way the students can't stop eating (his own weight issues have taught him food awareness), and Lorelei soon comes to agree. The darkness that Loftin layers over her story makes this a mesmerizing read, though some grisly details may be too much for sensitive readers. By incorporating real problems that children face — the death of a parent, peer pressure, bullying, obesity, and learning disabilities — Loftin anchors her characters and creates a fantasy that feels simultaneously classic and new. Ages 8 — 12. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary and Media." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Spooky twists and soaring prose make this foodie update on Hansel and Gretel an unforgettable must-read.
Lorelei is bowled over by Splendid Academyand#151;Principal Trapp encourages the students to run in the hallways, the classrooms are stocked with candy dishes, and the cafeteria serves lavish meals featuring all Lorelei's favorite foods. But the more time she spends at school, the more suspicious she becomes. Why are her classmates growing so chubby? And why do the teachers seem so sinister?
It's up to Lorelei and her new friend Andrew to figure out what secret this supposedly splendid school is hiding. What they discover chills their bonesand#151;and might even pick them clean!
Mix one part magic, one part mystery, and just a dash of Grimm, and you've got the recipe for a cozy-creepy read that kids will gobble up like candy.
About the Author
Nikki Loftin is a writer and native Texan who lives just outside Austin, Texas, with her two boys, two dogs, nine chickens, and one very patient husband. The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy is her first novel.
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