Katherine L. Holmes began writing novels for children after she was a winner of The Loft's Children's Literature Prize. Then, she obtained a M.A. in Writing at the University of Minnesota. Recently, she won the 2011 Prize Americana for Fiction. Her short story collection will be published by Hollywood Books International. Her historical novel The Swan Bonnet has a gold medal at Authonomy.com where it reached the HarperCollins Editor's Desk. Katherine lives in Duluth, Minnesota.
At this Halloween party, costumes make the child. Transformed during an enchanted journey, Lushina children try out their dreamed identities.
Halloween night, Sadie and her neighborhood friends slip past cardboard cut-outs of the painter Mistral and a lady at the leaf-covered house on Windward Road. Looking at a wall mural, they are transported beyond the room to a Halloween party on a star where their costumes become real.
As Fortuneteller, Sadie only has to look in her crystal ball to help the others with their transformations. Her friend Candy has become the Homecoming Queen. The neighbor boy has become George Washington and his brother is a musician in the star band. Sadie’s brother turns into a zebra and her sister begins blessing people because she is a priest.
Other children in Sadie’s grade school make up a bizarre community of star people who crown the Queen and watch the President’s revolt. That begins the adventures of Sadie and her enchanted friends. Then Mistral’s woman friend finds that her star-of-sapphire necklace is missing. The found thief confesses that he stole it for a treasure hunt that takes up the latter chapters of this madcap fantasy.
The House in Windward Leaves provides more humor than horror while it becomes an adventure about identity. Children will delight in a fantasy world run by children.
I went Indie because there are so many fantasies out there today. While I seek an agent for other books, this one has a different take on the fantasy world. Its Halloween theme puts it into a more specific genre.
Roald Dahl inspired this book. I also like Natalie Babbitt and Susan Cooper for modern children's fantasy.