Synopsis: Tessa has heard her grandfather’s stories about the fabled barbegazi since she was little. Now, after his death, she’s determined to see the gnome-like creatures for herself and prove her grandfather wasn’t just a confused old man.
When Tessa discovers Gawion, a young male barbegazi, she’s overjoyed. She can finally show everyone that her grandfather was telling the truth. But Gawion needs her help. His sister is missing and may have been captured by humans. As the two form a friendship, Tessa realizes that uncovering the truth about the barbegazi carries great responsibilities—and sometimes things have to remain a secret.
This was such a cute story! In it we follow Tessa who is dealing with the recent loss of her grandfather and is desperately trying to find evidence of the barbegazi, who he swore saved him years ago from an avalanche. We also follow a family of barbegazis who are dealing with the disappearance of one of their family members.
The book is peppered with lore about the barbegazis and their habits/mythology which I thought was a really nice touch. Throughout the book there are some times and Tessa makes impulsive decisions that aren’t the smartest, or has thoughts that are a tad selfish but it’s good to see her reason through those thoughts or think retroactively about her decisions and their consequences. For the age that she is her behavior and thoughts are appropriate.
The family dynamics and friendships in this book were really charming and authentic. It touched on a lot of harder subjects such as grief (and the effects thereof), slight bullying and others. It’s a fun winter adventure with a lot of twists and turns and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
If it sounds like something you would like to pick up be sure to check it out. It’s coming out from Jolly Fish Press on November 12th.