Delightful book about having a (real, not imaginary) friend who is quite different. The characters are 4th and 5th graders.
This was an odd book. The author spent a lot of time using a lot of description at the beginning of the book, hinted at the problem(s)with the child's life and worked hard at trying to make the reader believe the "good" girl would actually want to play with the "strange" girl and neither mother would have a clue as to what was going on. The end was not surprising, but what was surprising was that the friendship the girls had cultivated so carefully seemed to lose any importance; the important part of the story seemed to be the elf village (which was only an escape from reality for the neglected child). The friendship, the trauma and the sadness of the little girls were not covered in any detail. I don't think children of this age would have behaved the way they did. Frankly, the whole story was quite unbelievable and left me with an uneasy and disturbed outlook.
For what it's worth, I just loved this book. I read it out loud to my daughters when they were in grade school (maybe 2nd and 3rd grade?) and we all loved it. I have a horrible memory and don't really remember much about it, except that we enjoyed it together.
something strange and wonderful has appreared in sara-kates junky and overgrown yard. a tiny delicate village built of sticks and leavens..
If you love fantasy, this tale is an adorable, cute tale!
My daughter is 11 years old and loved this book, she couldn't put it down.