Book Review: The Weaver by Kai Strand

There are so many great authors out there, and new ones add their books to the world daily. It is a good thing that I love books. Promoters and publishers send me books daily. My twitter feed is filled with books to read. My Facebook page leads me to many more books and WordPress bloggers always abound with the new books they have written and read. Don’t even get me started on the paradise that is Goodreads. It takes so little effort to find a new book to read that my “To Be Read” list is now a year long and still growing and I don’t mind a bit. Reading is the one thing I do best and enjoy the most. Still, some days finding a good book to read can be a little like trying to climb Everest while it is growing as fast as you can climb. On those days I cherish the suggestions of friends and family.

This week I was invited to a book signing by some friends. I would gladly share all that I have with these friends, but I felt certain that my chest congestion and hacking cracked voice would not be appreciated for long, so sadly (a book signing and author meet and greet is like Disneyland to a book blogger), I declined. They were kind enough to bring me a signed copy of a book. Aren’t they just the best? Though they are quite familiar with this author, she is one I had never heard of until the invite. I think that I will have to make it a point learn more about her books.

Title/ The Weaver / Author/ Kai Strand / Publisher/ Guardian Angel Publishing / Publishing Date/ December 2010 / Length/ 90 pages / Recommended Ages/ 9-12
Amazon / Goodreads / Barnes & Noble

indexThe Weaver is a truly unique story about a girl named Mary who lives in The Tales. It is a village, as the opening paragraph describes, whose inhabitants “can tell stories about anything at anytime and often do.” Storytelling doesn’t come easy for Mary and she watches as her peers advance in their skill while she still struggles with the basics. It is difficult for her. Her own mother is considered to be among the best story weavers and the perceived expectation, and subsequent disappointment, that Mary should easily follow in her footsteps makes Mary’s seeming lack of ability all the more unbearable. One day a chance meeting with a magical creature changes Mary’s life, but it is up to her to find out the true meaning of that change.

As the mother of an extremely brilliant child who is often feels held back by his learning disabilities, this story struck a resonant chord. It isn’t that Mary isn’t capable, she just hasn’t found a way that works for her. Though she feels that the weight of unspoken criticism alienates her from her peers and loved ones, the truth is she is well loved for who she is, not judged by what she hasn’t been able to accomplish yet. As she comes to understand that and finds her own way, her life changes in wondrous ways.

The characters in this delightful tale are vivid and fun. Like Mary, I would have a difficult time weaving tales. I would still love to live in this charming place. I love how the theme of practice and perseverance is, pardon the pun, woven throughout the story. My favorite quote is “The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary.” There are no quick fixes in life.

This book is recommended for children ages 9-12. The reading level is appropriate for that age range, however I believe it would make an excellent bedtime story for much younger children. It should be a staple in every elementary special education classroom library.

I will definitely be looking for the next books in this series.
This Bookworm awards “The Weaver” 5 Tomes
5 stars

Goodreads Summary: In a town of word weavers, Mary suffers through her third year of Novice Word Weaving. Mary thinks her troubles are over when she meets a gnome-elf who grants her a wish. But instead of weaving a better story, she’s weaving strange yarn charms to accompany her still pathetic tales. Suggested age for readers: 9-12

Author Info:
Kai Strand writes fiction for kids and teens. She was born and raised in the mid-west, where she inherited a wholesome outlook on life. She lived in California long enough to find a husband and have four kids. Now they live in Central Oregon, which boasts the bluest sky you’ll ever see and miles of hiking trails to enjoy it from.

Kai has a Facebook page: Kai Strand, Author. But her favorite stall tactic from writing is answering email. If you have a question about her or her writing, email her at



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