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" A winsome tween protagonist steers this fun, quiet fantasy"

Sam is stuck on the roof. At night. In the rain. And she’s angry – and not just about being locked out of her house.

She’s angry because her parents are dead. She’s angry because she has to scrounge for food and wear stupid old clothes and borrow other kids’ books. Dear old Aunt C is no help, at least not since she began to lose her marbles. Neither is brother Darby. Nor is Gemini the cat – who only cares about her food bowl.

Out on the roof, choking on factory fumes and pelted by golf ball-size raindrops, Sam seethes with rage. She stomps her feet, slips, and falls – breaking through the surface of the earth into the unknown. She lands in the Under-Under World,

a lovely and magical place ruled by the Great Hildinski, a wise and ancient woman – the last survivor of a lost civilization.  But trouble follows Sam to this paradise.

She is accused of stealing the colony’s sun. Then Darby and Gemini appear — expecting her to help them find their way back home.  Then things get even worse. Sam stumbles on a sinister plot to steal the colony’s water – a plot that could destroy both Under-Under and the world above.

She has to find a way to protect the water, for everyone's sake. But how?

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Aunt C’s pearls weigh heavy in Sam’s pocket. She knows that she needs to sell the pearls because her aunt is in a coma and they desperately need money to live. But she really, really doesn’t want to.

Then things get worse. The jeweler accuses her of stealing the pearls. Now, she’s on the run, with all of the townspeople chasing after her. That’s when she makes her big mistake. She thinks she is confiding in The Great Hildinski, ruler of the Under-Under World – but she’s actually sharing secrets with her sister, who is as evil as her wise old friend is good. The evil sister has preserved dinosaur eggs, and they are about to hatch. Worse, they are the eggs from the long-extinct, fearsome breed, the Slashasaurus. If they hatch, everyone in the world will be in danger.

" This delightful, compact tale mingles the natural world and a hint of magic"

Sam has to act quickly. But the solution is not easy. The only way to keep the Slashasaurus eggs from hatching involves a dangerous quest to every continent in the world.  A seemingly impossible task.  And even more confusing, love must somehow be part of the equation, or the magic will not work.

 

Sam, Darby, Boyo, and Gemini set out on this quest. But can three kids and one cat actually fulfill this mission – and live?

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