Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail

Children - Preteen
362 Pages
Reviewed on 09/03/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

M. Gail Grant resides in Canton, Georgia, surrounded by the North Georgia mountains, submerged in the culture of southern hospitality. Her writings have a twinge of the traditional, and balance between outrageous adventures, faith, and the mystical world of wizardry. Her youngest daughter, age nine, was the inspiration behind Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail. Grant wanted to bring together a world of magic and enchantment within the every-day context. Observing her daughter's excitement as she watched the novel unfold was worth its weight in gold. The result, book #2 in the series is in production. She hopes Lily Brooke brings you lots of magic and wonder.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail by M. Gail Grant follows Magdalena upon her thirteenth birthday when she discovers secrets in her quaint town of Lily Brooke. After an exploration through the woods with her friends, Gabriel and Hubert, leads them to a hidden cave, they find lanterns, sacrificial drawings on the walls, and a bizarre and empty tree house. To find answers behind the cave, they turn to their other friends for help. A strange book called Demonic Enchantments, and an even stranger conversation between the preacher and Magdalena's mom, reveal possibly sinister secrets the adults of the town may be keeping. When they realize they may have freed something demonic from the cave, the friends band together to find a way to fix their mistake before it's too late.

M. Gail Grant has a charming style with sweet descriptions, often using old-fashioned phrases and language that perfectly fits the personalities of the children and the quaintness of the town. This is a town that seems idealistic on the surface with a nosy neighbor, hardworking farmers, and a baker that found his calling at a young age. But Grant crafts a darker and sinister underbelly to the town in a secret that the townspeople have banded together to keep hidden. This is the mystery the children strive to solve in an adventure that often reminds me of the classic mysteries of Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys, except with demons and magic. Magdalena Gottschalk is a tale of adventure and friendship, courage and heroism, a coming of age story perfect for young adults. The delightful world and wonder of adventure will appeal to all ages.

Arya Fomonyuy

Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail by M. Gail Grant is a riveting blend of fantasy and adventure for young adult readers. Thirteen-year-old Magdalena lives in the cozy little town of Lily Brooke and she experiences boredom, just like some of her teenage friends, hardly finding anything exciting to do. One Saturday morning, Magdalena and her teenage friends, Gabriel and Hubert, decide to have a little adventure. But things begin to change so quickly once they get on the road and they start noticing unusual things like the fork in the middle of an oft-traveled path, a crooked trail, then the cave with the hidden lanterns, the drawings on its walls, and the enchanted tree house that looks so old. But most troubling are the voices that seem to beckon them on, voices that only Magdalena can hear. The fun has just begun as the trio sets out on an adventure to discover the secret behind the voices and why only Magdalena can hear them. The rest is a thrilling adventure involving magic, secret societies, and supernatural happenings that will change the lives of the children forever and the way they see Lily Brooke. There is an evident evil lurking in the city, but can it be defeated? Do the kids have what it takes to fight it?

M. Gail Grant’s characters are very interesting and readers will enjoy Magdalena's feisty nature, she is an intelligent and curious girl. The characters are real and their reactions to situations taking place in their community will arouse the interest of readers. I enjoyed the way the themes are developed, especially friendship, magic, and teamwork. The setting is vividly portrayed and readers get a clear picture of Lily Brooke. The writing is excellent, featuring beautiful descriptions and dialogues that are plot-driven and that enhance character development. Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail is a delightful read for young readers and adults who still reflect the beauty of childhood in their hearts.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail by M. Gail Grant is the story of Magdalena Gottschalk. It is Magdalena’s 13th birthday and everybody is celebrating. The next day Magdalena and her friends, Hubert and Gabriel, go for a walk through the woods behind the barn at Hubert’s house and that’s when things change. A strange fork leads them down an odd path, taking them to an enchanted treehouse and a strange cave. Voices and noises that only Magdalena can hear lead them on and their adventure raises questions - it’s time to bring in the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke to determine if there is something unwanted living in Lily Brooke. The town is depending on them and many lives are going to be changed as they face obstacles that they should never have to face. Can the town survive? And what of Magdalena and her friends? Can their friendship survive this toughest of all tests?

Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail by M. Gail Grant is a mystical fantasy story and a very well written one at that. I was hooked from page one and couldn’t put the book down. The characters are incredibly well developed and the story is wound around them intricately. It is an easy story to follow, full of excitement and plenty of twists and turns to keep you hooked and on edge. The action starts on page one and takes you on a rollercoaster journey of mystery, wizardry, demons and black magic, all leading you to an exciting conclusion that you won’t be able to wait to get to. I enjoyed the story and I believe it is well aimed at its target audience.