THE TILTERSMITH - Amy Herrick
A fantasy for the budding environmental scientists out there. Lots of fun!
I wondered when we'd start to see climate-focused middle grade reads saturate the shelves. The Tiltersmith joins the wave of budding stories both fantastical and contemporary centered on our environment—and it managed to do that while ALSO being fun. A delicate balance to walk.
It's supposed to be spring in New York, but as March 21 rolls around the streets are still covered in ice and snow. Winter's not letting up. For four kids in the city, this stinks on multiple levels.
As I curled up with this story, it was early April, supposedly spring on the calendar—the winter vibes out my window begged to differ. The snow on my ground felt like a personal grounding to this tale.
I, like our protagonist's teacher Mr. Ross, immediately jumped to climate change as an answer for my snow woes.
But for Edward, Brigit, Feenix, and Danton, four classmates with a lot of smarts, they think something else is afoot and they're determined to prove it in their own unique ways. (Edward, the scientist covered in experiments, was a personal favorite of mine to read.)
And when someone "off" with the name Superintendent Tiltersmith shows up, the foursome are in for a wild, wild ride involving magic, science, and the planet.
Y'all, I thought this story was so precious. It's not every day that you read a tale for young readers with a distinctly environmental twist—unless there's a ton and I'm just living under a rock, which is possible—and The Tiltersmith incorporated those elements in such a blatant and yet endearing way. As an adult, I found some portions to be a bit on the nose, but I had to keep reminding myself that this was meant for younger audiences who might need the more heavy-handed approach.
A fun and engaging read to share with the young scientists and explorers in your life!
Thank you to Algonquin Books for Young Readers for my copy in exchange for an honest review.
Amy Imogene Reads
Just someone looking for her own door into Wonderland.