Eleven-year-old Anna loves stories. On the eve of the Ukrainian New Year, she asks her grandmother for the most important story of all: the truth about what really happened to her mother. But before her grandmother can tell it, the story gets stolen. To get it back, Anna and her twin brother must work their way through a plot hole into the world of stories, accompanied by none other than the legendary witch, Baba Yaga. If she can’t defeat the leader of a society that runs on the power of stolen tales, she risks losing her grandmother’s stories, the last connection to her mother, forever. THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND with a Ukrainian twist.
The day her grandmother’s stories were stolen, the borscht boiled, the snow fell, and the ravens cawed outside Anna’s kitchen window.
It wasn’t just any other day in Alaska, but the Ukrainian feast of Malanka, which fell two days before Anna’s twelfth birthday. Her twin brother Roman would probably ask Grandma Zenovia for video games and something with lots of sugar. Anna only wanted one thing this year: the truth about why her mother had left.
Last night, Anna had peeled beets for Grandma’s borscht. In the splashes of their pink dye, she imagined animals, the way some people saw constellations in the stars. A tiny pink fox lurked on her pinky. A rose colored wolf roamed across her thumb. She wondered if her mother ever did the same thing, wherever she was. Maybe the pink fox on Anna’s pinky could cross paths with a magenta deer leaping across her mother’s palm. And just then they would meet again, if only in a story.