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Publisher's Summary

From number one New York Times best-selling author Katherine Applegate comes a singular middle-grade story about a girl who risks everything to help a handmade creature who comes to life.

Eleven-year-old Willodeen adores creatures of all kinds, but her favourites are the most unlovable beasts in the land - strange beasts known as 'screechers'. The villagers of Perchance call them pests, even monsters, but Willodeen believes the animals serve a vital role in the complicated web of nature.

Lately, though, nature has seemed angry indeed. Perchance has been cursed with fires and mudslides, droughts and fevers, and even the annual migration of hummingbears, which are a source of local pride and income, has dwindled. For as long as anyone can remember, the tiny animals have overwintered in shimmering bubble nests perched atop blue willow trees, drawing tourists from far and wide. This year, however, not a single hummingbear has returned to Perchance, and no one knows why.

When a handmade birthday gift brings unexpected magic to Willodeen and her new friend Connor, she’s determined to speak up for the animals she loves and perhaps even uncover the answer to the mystery of the missing hummingbears.

©2021 Katherine Applegate (P)2022 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Employing flawlessly simple, candid prose that belies deeper messages, Newbery Medalist Applegate again considers the complex relationship between humans and the natural world." (Publishers Weekly)

"You know you’re in for a treat with an Applegate fantasy, but when she dreams up hummingbears - tiny, winged bears that nest in bubbles - it’s instantly catapulted into irresistible territory." (Booklist)

"Another stunning effort from Applegate. This thoughtful read is a top choice for middle graders." (School Library Journal)

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