The Smallborn series has roots that come from stories the author read as a child, books like Little House on the Prairie and The Borrowers. Stories about making a home in trees, as the Swiss Family Robinson did, fired my imagination long ago.
Working with children showed me how valuable and gifted each person truly is. Out of this came a picture of a small person who fought to understand her gift and be accepted for where that gift led her.
The first book, called The Smallborn, introduces Ivy Teasel and her big family.
Thimbleberry, her mama, has the gift of Healing, and she is a little over protective because she sees the world from a Healer's eyes. But Ivy's papa is a Provider and understands Ivy's desire for adventure. Poppy is her ally when she gets into trouble with her mama.
Of her four older brothers Parsley is the closest to Ivy in age and her best friend. He is a Dreamer who is always looking for new ways to use the things around him. His inventions do not always work the way he hoped, but he trusts Ivy to share his ideas and help him.
Burdock is Ivy's oldest brother, the one she idolizes because he is not afraid of anything. He is a Provider like their papa, which means he puts himself in danger to get the things the Smallborn need. The stories of his adventures fire Ivy with a wish to be like him.
The two middle brothers are Mallow, a Healer like their mama, and Sorrel, whose gift is Teaching. Ivy thinks Sorrel is a bore because he lectures her. Mallow's gift does not interest Ivy. All he wants to talk about are herbs and growing things.
The big problem in Ivy's life is that she does not know what her gift is. The finding and using of each Smallborn's gift is the thing that will shape their lives. It tells them who they are and how they fit in the small community of the tree-dwelling Smallborn.
The Quickening, when a child's heart awakens to love the Village, and the finding of one's gift are the two most important things in a young Smallborn's life. So book one follows Ivy as she learns who she will be and what it means.
Finding and rescuing the lost colony of Smallborn, the main event in the book, is going to change the lives of everyone in the Village, including Ivy, but it is in the second book that this begins to unfold.
Book two, The Smallborn in Flight, begins a new quest for Ivy. She will help to discover and unravel the mystery of the origin of the Smallborn.
Because of her gift of Speaking she is able to tame and ride a fruit bat, Firefly. The young Smallborn Speaker who helps her tame Firefly becomes her new best friend.
The second book shows Ivy growing into her gift as she learns how to be a guardian. There are new adventures when everyone learns she can fly.
Book three will answer the question left at the end of book two about the purpose of the tower on the other side of the forest. More on that later.
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