Book Review – Brigitta of the White Forest

 

Brigitta of the White Forest is a fast-paced, fun, middle-grade novel about two faerie sisters who escape a frightening curse upon the White Forest. Brigitta and her younger sister, Himalette, travel to Dead Mountain in search of the only one that can help them—a banished faerie called Hrathgar.

Brigitta of the White Forest by Danika Dinsmore

Brigitta of the White Forest by Danika Dinsmore

Along the way, they experience many challenges including outwitting a giant caterpillar and an army of hungry frogs. The sisters meet some creatures they’re not sure they can trust, but whose help they need in their journey. Brigitta must also contend with the careless curiosity of her sister, which gets them into one disaster after another.

One of the themes that plays out is destiny. At the beginning of the book, Brigitta has not yet reached “The Change,” and she is having difficulty fitting in. By the end of the book, Brigitta has matured enough for her wings to reveal her destiny markings, and she must now face what her future holds. Ondelle, the High Priestess of the faeries, talks to Brigitta about destiny, telling her to “allow all destinies to unfold as they should.” It is a concept that Brigitta chews on even when the story ends.

Danika Dinsmore paints an extraordinary setting with beautifully strange creatures and props. The history of the White Forest is vivid, and many of the names and terms are wild-sounding and evocative.

Dinsmore includes a lexicon to further describe the unusual place. My only disappointment is that the lexicon is placed at the back of the book. Had it been located in the beginning, I would have known to refer to it when I wanted a more detailed explanation. However, I can also understand the idea of placing it at the back so as not to distract readers from the story.

Regardless of location, the lexicon is especially engaging, further revealing Dinsmore’s complete down-to-the-sharmock-roots knowledge of this world she created.

My nine-year-old daughter, Maddy, read the book also. She was eager for me to finish it so we could discuss the story and what we think might happen in the sequel, Ruins of Noe. Below, Maddy gives her own take on Brigitta:

“What I liked best about Brigitta of the White forest was that it put a lot of questions in my mind. It made me make predictions about the book. The part where Brigitta rips her wing made me wonder how fairies get their wings repaired when they get damaged. I’ve been waiting to read an adventure book about fairies (because I love them) for a while. This one made my skin tingle as I read the very first line. I liked how the story ended, when Brigitta and Himalette are reunited with their friends and family. My two favorite characters are Minq and Himalette. Minq has really long ears which I adore! Himalette is very curious, and I can connect to her. The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that the story ended! I can’t wait to read the next book!”

   I am very fortunate to have the author, Danika Dinsmore, guest blog on 4amWriter on May 11th. Please be sure to stop by to read what she has to say about being a traditionally published author and the challenges she experienced between writing her first book, Brigitta of the White Forest, and its sequel, The Ruins of Noe, which is available for a free download TODAY ONLY.

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16 thoughts on “Book Review – Brigitta of the White Forest

  1. I love to see parents reading books along with their children! Although my mother always encouraged my love of books and listened to me prattle on about them, she didn’t read them herself. I’m sure there comes an age when the child might be mortified to have mom or dad read the same things. But by then, hopefully, that shared love of reading is already well in place. And you can get back to it after the teens have passed…. 🙂

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    • Thanks, JM. Luckily, Maddy and I have a lot in common, so reading books together comes naturally. She used to bug me about letting her read the Hunger Games series, and even though it is in her reading level I just think the content is too violent for a 9 year old. I feel fortunate that she loves fairies and was delighted with this book.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  2. This sounds like the type of lighter fantasy that I would enjoy. (Too much dark, dystopian grimness in fiction, these days, for my tastes.) Beautiful that your daughter read it, too…and I appreciate reading her thoughts, as well! (Sounds like you have another writer/critiquer in the family!)

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    • Hi Mayumi,
      I agree, especially for younger children whose reading level is higher and they could technically read darker, more violent stories. Like I said to JM, I’m happy that I found this book and have had the pleasure to get to know the author, Danika Dinsmore, a little bit through the blogosphere. I’m really looking forward to her sequel!

      Thanks for commenting!

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    • Hi Kourtney,

      Me too! It should be loads of fun; I love fairies too. The story is wonderful, and it’s nice to know you can still write great stories that appeal to kids without having to rely on the violence to keep their attention.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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      • Kathryn, I miss the stories of my childhood. I think violence is sometimes a fall back when the story lacks something. I mean some people write terrific stuff that requires the violence, but many times it gratuitous and distracts you from the something else that is missing there. 🙂

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  3. Hi Kate, thank you for your lovely review (and thanks for Maddie as well. I love kid reviews!).

    I’m writing a note here, too, because you don’t seem to be receiving my guest post via email. Not sure why. Check your junk mail? Perhaps it went there because of the attachment.

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  4. Pingback: Guest Blogger: Danika Dinsmore « 4amWriter

  5. Pingback: Guest Blogger: Danika Dinsmore « 4amWriter

  6. Pingback: Bloggers Between the Covers | 4amWriter

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