Mary Downing Hahn wrote another triumphantly spooky Middle Grade book with Guest, a Changeling Tale, her retelling of the Tam Lin story. Mollie is a big sister to an insufferably adorable baby brother, Thomas. The local wise woman even gave him a beautiful silver plated locket to keep him safe from the “Kinde Folk,” and everyone who cared to protect the lad told untruths aloud to keep the sidhe from carrying the bonnie boy away. While minding her brother, Mollie decided to try on the locket, and she mentioned aloud how everyone thought her brother adorable. Before you could admire the pure Irish air, Thomas is swapped for a changeling, which is a sickly fairy child. Mollie’s whole life turns upside down. The replacement Thomas squalls and is always hungry for Mam’s milk. Dadoe takes off when the wise woman suggested treating the changeling kindly. It’s up to Mollie to brave the wild, dark forest and the tricky fair folk to rescue her true brother.
The main character experiences lovely character growth. She befriends a traveller along the way and learns much more about the ancient ones during her time in their lands. Many times along the way, though, my kiddos shook their heads and asked, “When will she learn?” They enjoyed the tale tremendously, and it is my favorite of Ms. Hahn’s books that I’ve read thus far.