book review, Something To Do

The Secret Child by Marti Healy (And a little look at Fairy Folklore!)

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The Secret Child by Marti Healy is a timeless and whimsical children’s tale that will appeal to a wide range of ages; its one of those favorite books cherished by more than one generations.

The Secret Child
On a journey from one Gypsy tribe to another, young Marika encounters tragedy. Her beloved baby brother who has been accompanying her to meet her future husband and new tribe, falls horribly ill. Stopping in a small town in South Carolina, the experienced doctor is not able to save him. Marika keeps herself hidden from the doctor, his black assistant, and the woman to whose house Danny is taken. Unsure of what to do, Marika takes refuge in the woman’s barn, secretly doing chores for the owner while taking small bits of food for herself.

But eventually she shows herself to the woman–Miss Maggie–and is treated with kindness and love, given a warm meal, a bath, and clean clothes. Marika finds a friend in Miss Maggie and the doctor’s black assistant Joseph. Miss Maggie tells Marika of her life as a Quaker in the South, how they are accepting, kind people, and how they have church in her very house. She invites Marika to a service, but the young gypsy girl is not used to the custom’s of southern church services and the reserve in which they are practiced. She dresses in her most colorful garb, reddening her cheeks and lips, and letting her hair loose. The embarrassment she experiences upon setting foot into the church service, completely mismatched, sends her fleeing from her friends into the forest, led by Joseph, who takes her to the center of the forest at the Carolina Bay.

The Secret Child

Soon enough, fairies make themselves known to her. She catches an ancient water fairy, Cian, whose respect for her spreads to the rest of the fairies. They share their names, their abilities and their love for her. They keep her safe from her proposed husband, Jacko, a prince among gypsies but who is known as a cruel man. The fairies agree to protect her for a year, but at the end of the year, she must choose to live in the human world or join the fairy world. She cannot have the luxury of both.

In her year of protection, she notices the growing strife in the human world between slaves, slave owners, and people who are ready for slavery to end. She sees the horrors of slavery as she stays by Joseph’s side, then she comes home to the peace of the fairies. Marika has a very tough decision to make in a short amount of time. And she must never, ever forget her brother, the secret child.

Marti Healy has created a beautiful, enchanting, heart wrenching story in The Secret Child that mixes magic and lore with the pain and corruption of the pre-Civil War South. Her writing style is reminiscent of a classic, with rich language and imagery. This story captured my attention and imagination, and the fairies are absolutely enchanting!! Grab your copy HERE.

**Some of these links are affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may get a very small commission.
This money goes towards postage and supplies to keep books and ideas in the hands of young readers!
Something To Do:
1. Want to learn more about Fairy Folklore? Check out Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore and Mythology by Theresa Bane
Fairies of the World Folklore

2. How to attract Fairies to your home:
     -Care for the earth that we all inhabit! That’s very important to fairies
     -Be happy! Fairies are attracted to happiness and lightness. Keep a cheerful air about your home!
     -Plant an oak tree – they love oak trees!
     -Plant their favorite flowers, such as Sunflowers, Honeysuckle, and pansies
     -Respect their secrecy and privacy–this is key. Fairies are very private creatures.
3. Give them their own space–build a village of fairy houses!
     Fairy House Building
4. Want to experience the magic of a fairy forest? Take a family vacation to Mackworth Island and see all of the naturally-built fairy houses!
 Macworth Island
5. Jump Into a Book is also a huge fan of fairy lore and fairy house building! Check out this past post that shares secrets on how to make your own fairly house and maybe even make a few fairy friends.
Fairy House

In the mood for a little more imagination, wonder and delight? How about this; did you know that dragons are REAL??!!
My newest book, Dragons are Real is available and the excitement is almost blowing the roof off at Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press headquarters!
Dragons are real
SO…what if I told you that all of the fairy tales, myths and legends that have been told about dragons over the years are WRONG. What if I told you that Dragons are indeed Real and that they are different than you’ve ever imagined?
This fairly true story is based on the author’s childhood friendship with a REAL live Dragon; a very special Dragon that she and her brother spent two magical summers with.

As readers turn the pages and learn the truth about Dragons, they will see that the fiercest beasts in known history can actually be the best of friends. It’s a lesson in finding companionship in the most unusual of places. Dragons are Real is a magical book filled with stunning illustrations and hints that dragon are indeed all around us 🙂

Dragons are Real is now available for purchase on both Amazon and Gumroad! We are also offering a special free bonus gift of a Dragons Are Real Inspiration Activity Guide when you purchase your copy of this enchanting picture book.

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