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This is a rare coming-of-age, magical realism, coming-out, scientific quest, sister-struggle, animal-loving, letting-go, best-friend tension-filled, epic family drama that is perfect for tweens. It hits all the right notes in a story that is hard to put down and even harder to forget. Open yourself up to its magic. --Tegan
“Yolanda’s beloved grandmother is dying and social services is knocking on her door. Yolanda is determined to help her dying grandmother fulfill her last wish: a trip to the mysterious pecan tree on their property. Along the way, she discovers family stories and secrets she never knew and the importance of dealing with both life and death. Into the Tall, Tall Grass is a magical story with a charming cast of characters and emotional life lessons.”
— Jackie Jou, Mysterious Galaxy Books, San Diego, CA
A girl journeys across her family’s land to save her grandmother’s life in this captivating and magical debut that’s perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.
Yolanda Rodríguez-O’Connell has a secret. All the members of her family have a magical gift—all, that is, except for Yolanda. Still, it’s something she can never talk about, or the townsfolk will call her family brujas—witches. When her grandmother, Wela, falls into an unexplained sleep, Yolanda is scared. Her father is off fighting in a faraway war, her mother died long ago, and Yolanda has isolated herself from her best friend and twin sister. If she loses her grandmother, who will she have left?
When a strange grass emerges in the desert behind their house, Wela miraculously wakes, begging Yolanda to take her to the lone pecan tree left on their land. Determined not to lose her, Yolanda sets out on this journey with her sister, her ex-best friend, and a boy who has a crush on her. But what is the mysterious box that her grandmother needs to find? And how will going to the pecan tree make everything all right? Along the way, Yolanda discovers long-buried secrets that have made their family gift a family curse. But she also finds the healing power of the magic all around her, which just might promise a new beginning.
About the Author
Loriel Ryon spent her childhood with her nose in a book, reading in restaurants, on the school bus, and during every family vacation. When she wasn’t reading, Loriel built volcanoes, made jewelry, rescued tadpoles with her siblings, and raised butterflies. Now an author of middle grade and young adult fiction and a nurse, she lives in the beautiful New Mexico desert with her husband and two daughters. Visit her at LorielRyon.com.
“This heartfelt family saga weaves together science and magic believably and sensitively.” — Kirkus Reviews
* "A must-have tale, perfect for fans of emotionally resonant magical realism like Karen Strong’s Just South of Home." — School Library Journal, starred review