Scholastic, $16.99, 327 pages
After his family dies in a fire, 14 year old William moves to the Crowfield Abbey where monks look after him in exchange for his labor. Nothing ever exciting happens, until one winter’s day when William stumbles upon an injured hobgoblin. He takes the creature to the abbey for medical help. To get there, William enters the Whistling Hollow, a place he’s been forbidden to go. Something evil lurks there and William feels its presence. Soon after the appearance of the hobgoblin, two strangers arrive at the abbey looking for something that has remained a buried secret for years…a mythical being doomed by an ancient battle between good and evil. What is William’s role in this magical mystery? The Crowfield Curse is author Pat Walsh’s debut novel. Young adult readers of both genders will enjoy the humorous interactions between William and the hob. There is a religious aspect to the story, but it isn’t the book’s focus. One of the main lessons readers will take away with them is that sometimes doing the right thing is not always the easiest choice. Expect a sequel to this charming tale.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin