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book review MG fiction

Book Review: Quintessence

I attempt to read my advance reader copies in order of release date, although, more often than not one of them peaks my interest early. I have like zero self control when it comes to new books.

I console myself knowing that early reader buzz leads to pre-orders which helps the author get a deal to write their next book. That said, you’ve got a while before you’ll get your hands on this one.


Alma moved to Four Points after her parents bought a law practice in the small Her anxiety is off the charts as she navigates starting a new school in a new town. Her parents are not much help when night after night they encourage her to try harder. She doesn’t want to let them down and hides her increasing panic attacks from them.

One day she meets the Shopkeeper in town and he gives her a telescope and cryptically told to: Find the Elements, Grow the Light and Save the Starling.

At school, she joins the Astronomy club and hooks up with the club members who come together to help her and the celestial being that she sees falling out of a star. Together they learn about astronomy, alchemy, friendship, and loyalty.
It is magical realism at it’s best. I adore this story. I think even readers who are solidly typically in the YA genre will like it.

If this is the kind of book that your kid adores, imagine the joy of your child going to the mailbox each month for a shiny new book of their very own, and then meeting with kids their age to talk about the latest, greatest middle-grade titles. Consider a Bookish Society Membership!

By Jenny Naughton

JENNY NAUGHTON and her husband share their 1930's era Chicago home with four sons and a daughter. A voracious reader, Jen reviews books before their release for dozens of publishers on her page: Windy City Reader. Jen also blogs (on WordPress!) about classical, mostly secular, home education at Good Enough Homeschool.
In her spare time, she runs an online book club for teens and helps other home educating family match their kids with the perfect book for them.
You can find Jen misbehaving on social media on
Twitter: @jennynau10

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