Next, the four children are well-drawn and distinctive. No generic kid, kid, kid, but four different and recognizable personalities. Ms. Bell gave me just enough of the dialect flavor to hear it in my mind (I filled in with my own trip to England). Gort, Aisling, and Col are all wonderful characters, and the "foreigner," Laurel is lucky to have them on her side.
The essence of the story is that Laurel has been sent to England while her mother is dying of terminal cancer. It seems a cruel thing to do to a child and a little weak on explanation of why she'd be sent clear to England from the Canadian prairies. This isn't clarified until an appendix containing letters from Laurel's grandmother to Sarie, the Cornish woman who takes Laurel in.
But whatever the reasons, it comes down to Laurel needing to be in Cornwall because she's got a quest. No, she's not a chosen one, but a young girl desperately trying to save her mother's life. Only in Cornwall, with its legendary characters like piskies (pixies) and selkies (a seal-person). To say why it's important for Laurel to be where she is would be giving away a bit too much plot, so I'll leave it at that.
This book is longish for a middle-grade read, but I hope that won't put off parents buying ebooks for their children's Christmas present: an ereader, of course. The book will be released in print format, but there's no need to wait.
Enjoyable read full of Cornish lore. I liked it.