A magical, lyrical middle grade novel that will enchant fans of Kelly Barnhill and Anne Ursu, about a girl who must take on the ultimate responsibility in her village—and the dangers of secrets kept locked away in the dark.
Gussy knows that being a village Protector is a big job, even if Grandpa Widow makes the role look easy. So when Grandpa Widow is suddenly called to travel across the desert surrounding the village, and Gussy has to step into the role of Protector herself, she barely feels ready to perform the magical Rites that keep her village safe from the Great Doom, the mysterious power that threatens the residents in the lands outside.
On her very first night in charge, a mysterious young girl arrives in search of shelter, forcing Gussy to break the number one rule of being a Protector: When the sun goes down, keep the gates shut.
Soon it becomes clear that the Great Doom has managed to get inside the village walls. And as the villagers all look to Gussy for help, Gussy will have to turn to some surprising allies to save the only home she’s ever known.
About the Author
Jimmy Cajoleas grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. He earned his MFA from the University of Mississippi and now lives in Brooklyn. Goldeline is his first novel, followed by The Rambling. Visit him online at www.jimmycajoleas.com.
"The magical, Old West–flavored setting stands out, and Gussy’s folksy voice matches it well. Offers a distinctive setting, a creepy magical threat, and a whole lot of heart."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Cajoleas gracefully builds to a rousing climax, portrayed alongside a refreshingly positive message of grit, gumption, and community."
— Publishers Weekly
"Gussy narrates with a down-home storytelling flare that, along with her candid attitude, makes her a real pleasure to spend time with. Cajoleas threads interesting ideas about religion and respecting nature through the narrative... Readers interested in character and world building will find Gussy’s town well worth visiting."
"Gussy’s colloquial narrative voice is compelling, highlighting her deep sense of justice and responsibility for her community. Younger fantasy fans will appreciate the world building that slowly reveals details suggesting a foreboding Wild West setting."
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books