The Language of Spells


“Extraordinary—not to be missed.” ─ Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Lovely and lyrical…. extraordinary piece on grace and, finally, love.” ─ Booklist, starred review

“An affecting, melancholy story that asks intriguing questions about the costs of power.” ─ Publishers Weekly

“Reminds readers that there might be magic all around us, even if we cannot see it.” — School Library Journal

I lived in three different places and had three different jobs during the 4 + plus years that it took me to get a viable draft of this book. I had three editors and two publishing houses!   The young girl on whom I initially based my human protagonist (as opposed to dragon one) was the daughter of a friend, who abruptly stopped speaking to me. And yet writing this book was, in many ways, the best experience of my life. In addition to the U.S., it will be published in Turkey, Lebanon, Russia, Italy, China, and Japan. Here is the “official” description:

“Grisha is a dragon in a world that’s forgotten how to see him. Maggie is an unusual child who thinks she’s perfectly ordinary. They’re an unlikely duo–but magic, like friendship, is funny. Sometimes it chooses those who might not look so likely, and magic has chosen Grisha and Maggie to solve the darkest mystery in Vienna. Decades ago, when World War II broke out, someone decided that there were too many dragons for all of them to be free. As they investigate, Grisha and Maggie ask the question everyone’s forgotten: Where have the missing dragons gone and is there a way to save them?

At once richly magical and tragically historical, The Language of Spells is a novel full of adventure about remembering old stories, forging new ones, and the transformative power of friendship.”

TLOS is a Junior Literary Guild Selection and on Southern Living’s Best New Children’s Books for Summer 2018.

Book Categories: Middle Grade