Review: Grayling’s Song by Karen Cushman

Grayling's SongGrayling’s Song
Karen Cushman
Clarion Books

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When a dark force transforms Grayling’s mother into a tree, she must track the evil and free her mother’s stolen spell book. Grayling has never been far from home, and she has no skills with which to battle a sorcerer, so along her journey, she gathers a team of companions with various magical inclination, including a shapeshifting mouse and a witch who can control the weather. Together they follow the call of Grayling’s mother’s book to the source of the evil that’s taken it, and there, Grayling will have to fight to free the grimoire.

It might be impossible not to enjoy a book with a shapeshifting mouse. Pook might have been my favorite character, though Grayling’s other companions were fun in other ways. I liked that Grayling has to find her own strength and talent, and that it comes in a way she doesn’t expect. Her confidence builds with each challenge she faces.

Grayling’s relationship with her mom seemed a little less focused. Or maybe I lost track of the details in the story. Either way, I found it odd that she had the memories of the hurtful things her mom had said and yet from other descriptions, her mom seemed really caring and compassionate and close to Grayling. I kind of want to go back and reread to see if it’s just me being confused because I wanted them to be closer or whether there are in fact mixed signals in the story.

This was a fun, offbeat read that went pretty quickly. I think I read the whole thing in an evening. I definitely enjoyed it. This is a great one to add to that summer reading list for late elementary-aged readers.

find-amazonProfanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content
One of Grayling’s companions is an enchantress. Men tend to fall in love with her and can easily be persuaded to give her anything she wants.

Spiritual Content
A dark force has stolen spell books from persons of various magical gifting. In Grayling’s world, whether magic is good or evil depends on how it’s used—whether to help or hurt someone.

Violent Content
A soldier captures Grayling and her companions and threatens to hold them captive until they make him invulnerable.

Drug Content
Various herbs are used to heal. At an inn, the companions are offered mead.


Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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