Once the people and animals of Torone could speak to each other. Then the people forgot. But after the invasion of monstrous kozas, no one can stand alone. The gap will be bridged by young Alison Henry, plucked out of our world. C. J. Darlington, in Alison Henry and the Creatures of Torone, spins this tale of usurpers, chosen ones, and talking animals. The tropes are familiar but satisfying, and female heroes lend a modern flair. References to the Bible root the story in a Christian cosmos—religion in Torone is vague but wears the Christian trappings of chapels and christenings. The style of the book is unadorned and, at times, too obvious even for its twelve-year-old heroine. Despite its simplicity, Alison Henry is good comfort food for people who dream of other realms.
Best for: Middle-grade and young YA readers, especially those who love animals.
Discern: Mild name-calling and non-graphic violence.