(2) 4-6 Twelve-year-old Lonny is a lifeling: he has the ability to restore life to dying creatures, though this special power causes him to age every time he uses it. He's close to adult-size now; to protect him, his watchmaker father forbids him and his little brother, Midge, from going into town, where Lonny is more likely to give in to the almost irresistible buzzing sensation that alerts him to a creature in need. The boys have lived a sheltered and isolated life in the forest, almost in suspended animation, never interacting with anyone other than their father and housebound grandad. Their late mother's photo album and grandmother's notebook of stories provide clues to the larger world. One fateful day, the brothers do venture into town, on what turns out to be the day of the annual Lifeling Festival. They're shocked to hear their grandmother's stories repeated as myth, but with important differences, skillfully delineated by Applebaum, reflecting the townsfolk's point of view. The narrative otherwise sticks closely to Lonny's perspective as he comes to realize some complicated and dangerous truths. A richly imagined Tuck Everlasting–esque fantasy, with an epilogue that turns the story in an unexpected but satisfying direction.


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