Nordic Spirit Classics Second Friday Series – Friday, October 14

West of the Moon and Other Places You Can’t Get Get to With GPS

By Margi Preus

An old family diary, true immigrant stories, and Scandinavian folk and fairy tales combine to tell the story of West of the Moon, a “mesmerizing tale of Astri’s treacherous and harrowing mid-19th century emigration to America.” (Booklist, starred review). Preus’s research into Norwegian immigration led her to startling revelations about the role of women healers, the relationship between a common 19th century childhood ailment and the belief in changelings, and the reverence and fear our Norwegian ancestors had for The Black Book, “whose pages teach how to recover lost goods, find buried treasure, turn back the attacks of snakes and dogs, and more.” Preus will discuss how she combined history, fiction, and folklore in this novel and may give a sneak preview of her brand new book Windswept, also inspired by Norwegian fairy tales and populated by trolls. Early (starred) reviews are calling it “fresh, rich, and buoyant” an “inventive, memorable must-read,” and a “must-read grand adventure with unlikely heroes that will appeal to all fantasy lovers.” Enhanced with pictures and storytelling, the presentation is appropriate and entertaining for all ages 10 and up.

West of the Moon is an ALA/ALSC Notable Book, a recipient of the Aesop Prize given by the American Folklore Society, a Minnesota Book Award winner, and a Society of Midland Authors Award winner for Children’s Literature. It was named one of the best books of 2014 by Bank Street College, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus, Book Page, and Hornbook Magazine.

Margi Preus

Margi Preus’s writing career began when a kindergarten audition went horribly wrong. Since then, she has written a bazillion plays and a bunch of books, including the Newbery Honor book Heart of a Samurai, the Minnesota Book Award and Aesop Award-winning West of the Moon, and Midwest Booksellers Choice Award’s The Clue in the Trees, part of the Enchantment Lake mystery series. Her books have been honored as ALA/ALSC Notables, landed on the New York Times bestseller list and many other “best-of” lists, selected as an NPR Backseat Book Club pick, and have won multiple awards. New in 2022 is the picture book Lily Leads the Way (Candlewick) and the middle grade fantasy Windswept (Abrams/Amulet) which Hornbook’s starred review calls “fresh, rich, and buoyant.”

She lives in Duluth, MN land of snow squalls and cardamom buns.

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