Monday, February 10, 2014

Fog Magic by Julia L. Sauer

Title: Fog Magic
Author: Julia L. Sauer
Publisher: Puffin
Release Date: 1943
Rating: 5/5

Cover Impressions: 
This is my favorite cover of this book and the one that I remember.  It gets the old fishing village just right and has the beautiful, soft and ethereal quality of the fog.


When I was a little girl I discovered this book on the shelf of my tiny school library.  I read it at least twice a year for the rest of my time at that school.  It was my go-to book when I was feeling sad or lonely (which, to be honest, was quite often) and I was the perfect book for a foggy, Newfoundland day.  Recently, while perusing the shelves at my favorite second hand bookstore, I came across Fog Magic and just about squealed in delight.  I am so happy to get to read this wonderful story again.

Fog Magic is the Newberry Award Winning book of Julia L. Sauer.  It is set in rural Nova Scotia in a tiny fishing village.  The main character is an eleven year old girl named Greta.  Greta has always had an unexplainable fascination with the fog.  From the time she could walk, her mother was constantly trying to stop her from wandering off into the mist.  While walking one grey, foggy day, Greta discovers that the fog doesn't simply hide her from the world, it also reveals a new world to her.  The fog allows her entrance to Blue Cove, a place that holds only remnants of a community in the bright sunshine but is alive with the hustle and bustle of life within the fog.  

I always love the magic behind Fog Magic.  I grew up in the fog, I saw how it will creep and sneak along the ground one day and roll in as if swallowing you up the next.  I loved the idea that you could walk into the mist and come upon something that was never there by the light of the sun but could exist in that liminal space that fog can create.  Sauer does an excellent job of describing the mystery of the fog and the rules of this world are fairly well defined.  The fact that Greta can only reach Blue Cove through the fog and that time is different there allows the story to move quickly through a year without being bogged down with day to day details.

The story is a simple one, but is enchanting in its simplicity.  We are able to see some of the key events in the lives of the people at Blue Cove and can really feel Greta's sense of other-worldliness in having prior knowledge of the outcome of these events but no way to change them.  She develops a simple and sweet friendship with Retha and becomes close with her family, who appear to know more about this mystery that Greta does herself.  I do wish that some of the minor mysteries, like what happened to make everyone leave Blue Cove or who Anthony really is, were answered as these are the questions that keep me wondering and wishing there was a sequel to this book. 

This book will always be a favorite of mine and it makes me happy simply to see a copy resting on my shelves, awaiting the next grey, foggy day.

Notable Quotables:
"Most of us live in two worlds - our real world and the one we build or spin ourselves out of the books we read, the heroes we admire, the things we hope to do." 

Teaching/Parental Notes:

Middle Grade
Gender: Both
Sex: None
Violence: None
Inappropriate Language: None
Substance Use/Abuse: None


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