Tessa discovers the healing power of wishes when she sets out to find a missing Barbegazi, said to live in the mountains near her village. Meeting one is only the beginning of an adventure that unites generations and teaches Tessa that trust is at the heart of the best relationships.
A delightful story about families, love and learning that some secrets are best kept secret - forever.
H. S. Norup is the award-winning author of The Hungry Ghost and The Missing Barbegazi - a Sunday Times Book of the Year in 2018. She grew up in Denmark, where she devoured fairy tales and escaped into books. After living in six different countries, she now resides in Switzerland and writes stories inspired by her travels, set in the borderlands between the real and imaginary worlds. When she's not writing or reading, she spends her time outdoors either skiing, hiking, swimming or taking photos.
Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I'm not a person that reads winter books during winter and summer books during summer, but when I do it, I always like it so much! This book takes place between Christmas and New Year and it's very winter-y and I totally had that vibe. I think it's a great Middle School book and I, as an adult, also enjoyed the story a lot!
The book felt just very cute, winter-y and I had some good vibes while reading it. Well thought through, original and definitely worth the four stars. If you enjoy snowy books and skiing and little cute creatures, I'd read it!
I like this book a lot that I ended up finishing it within a day. The story started the day after Christmas and ended on New Year’s Eve. The author put so much details in writing within that week of the story plot. The author did a nice job to keep me interested albeit of emotions needed in the book when Tessa just lost her Opa and when her Oma ended up in the hospital.
The story is about magic, friendship, family and TRUST. This is a good children’s book that gives the young readers wide imagination of mountain elves as well as Learning mythical creatures in other countries. There is ALWAYS a lesson when reading children’s books. Three lessons were learned in this: trust, loyalty and friendship.
A good recommendation for parents who have young children who loves magic as well as wide imagination. And skiing. A must.
Thank you netgalley and Pushkin Children’s for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
This is a charming delightful story with enough tension and a satisfying conclusion. I have to confess I never heard of barbegazi before I read this book. In case you are in the same situation, they are a type of snow-elf who love to ride avalanches and keen to help out humans in trouble. If you need more information than that, I will have to refer you to Professor Bahne’s book, Habits & Habitats: A Historic Account of Alpine Elves quoted throughout the book.
Tessa is a lovely character, living with her grief-stricken mother and grandmother in a ski-resort in the Austrian Alps. She is clever, resourceful, and brave. Cousin Felix, intent though he is on winning his ski races, proves himself when it comes to the point, and Gawion is endearing.
The book is very well written and the story flows well. I have to say I enjoyed the skiing aspect too, not enough to venture out on the slopes perhaps, but it was fun reading about it (that’s as good, right?). The impact of the loss of a loved one on all members of the family (and its repercussions on others) is touched upon, and adds depth to the relatively simple story. All in all, a delightful story of friendship and family, one I think younger readers will enjoy.
Review: Initially, I was surprised at how good this novel was. Despite the YA intent, this author puts everything together in seamless fashion. Tessa’s emotive internalization’s drive the novel in directions that are unexpected in outcome. Scenes that you expect to play out in a certain way, end up delightfully itinerant.
About midway through, the story line started to languish under Tessa’s constant inner dithering. So much so, that I started flipping pages to find some action in the form of movement. Tessa is an uncomplicated kid and spending an inordinate amount of time in her head makes for a pretty boring time. I am not sure that middle grade children (intended audience) would think Tessa’s mental processes are sophisticated enough.
I really liked the interactions between Gawion and Brownie while Bahne brings up the rear in “Snidley Whiplash” fashion. A solid read for the YA crowd that teeters on greatness.
This was an enjoyable middle grade story! Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read it. It has some terms not every US middle grader might be familiar with, but as the story goes on, it's fairly easy to figure them out. Or, it could lead to looking them up! That's always good! I enjoyed the characters of Tessa and Felix and of course the Barbegazi. You can feel the author's love of skiing, the Alps and mythical magic. I loved the setting. It made me long to be able to ski in a place like this. It felt like an original and unique story. I would recommend it.
The Missing Barbegazi is the debut novel from Danish author, H. S. Norup. It is set in the wintery backdrop of the alpine mountains and is the tale of a young girl in search of the mythical creature from her Opa's stories. The Barbegazi are a gnome or dwarf-like creature covered in white fur, with a long beard, and large feet, they live in the freezing cold in shelters covered in snow and help people who become trapped after an avalanche. Each chapter alternates between Tessa and Gawion and is separated by excerpts from Professor Bahne's book, Habits & Habitats: A Historic Account of Alpine Elves, with events taking place from December 26th through December 31st.
Norup credits some of her inspiration for the story from her time living in Switzerland and skiing while her sons took ski race training. It captures the atmosphere of an Austrian village, swishing on skis, the cable cars and lifts pulling you up the mountainside. The mention of goulash soup and the use of Oma and Opa to refer to Tessa's grandparents had me nostalgic for Germany. And maybe because I was thinking about small villages and foods, I personally would have loved more of there inclusion. I do so love immersing myself in all the sights, sounds and smells of another culture. The Missing Barbegazi is a very unique story and I quite enjoyed learning about the Barbegazi., especially the snippets between each chapter from the Professor.
Tessa is a sweet young girl, whose family is grieving the recent loss of her Opa. She's trying to combat the village's negative views of her Opa while also trying to cheer up her Oma. Her heart always seems to be in the right place but at the same time, she takes risks. She's so determined to get answers and despite knowing the dangers of skiing out of bounds on the course, she still forges ahead. The story isn't filled with fast-paced action, aside from the times she is skiing, and Tessa isn't really in tremendous danger from the professor. Rather it's a story of Tessa's growth, from a rash kid to the young girl who takes other's feelings into consideration. And her coming to the overall realization of what could happen if she proves the existence of Barbegazi. Which ultimately leaves her questioning whether it's more important to prove everyone else wrong or to know that you're right despite what everyone else thinks?
This is Helle Norup's debut novel and was featured as a Sunday Times Children's Book of the Year. It is magical and the perfect book to read as you curl up in your pyjamas with a cup of hot chocolate. A Barbegazi, in case you are wondering as I did, is a type of Swiss mountain/snow elf with a long beard that can only live in freezing conditions and has a severe intolerance to iron. The story is told from the point of view of Tessa, a young skier and Gaiwon, a barbegazi who is hunting for his missing sister. No-one believes the barbegazi exist anymore except Tessa. The only other believer was her recently deceased opa (grandad) and a professor who wrote about them years before. The barbegazi, for their part, rescue humans who have been trapped and injured in avalanches, erasing their memories afterwards. They are extremely mistrusting of humans. Norup's passion for skiing, the Alps and magic are clear throughout the novel and I think this is what makes the story so captivating. I loved the development of Tessa from grieving for her grandfather and wanting everybody to believe he was right about the barbegazi to realising that fame and proving a point are less important than trust and friendship. She never wavers in her faith that the barbegazi still exist and is a headstrong and loveable character. The highlight for me was definitely reading about the barbegazi themselves. I particularly love that despite being more than a hundred old, Gaiwon's parents still treat him like a child. I loved the argument between Gaiwon and his father as Gaiwon shouts "I cannot wait to get my own cave" and his father retorts: "You can build one right now. And take your sesquicentennial hormones with you." This highlights that Norup doesn't 'write down' to the target audience but includes wide ranging vocabulary, as well as her own inventions, such as 'potzblitz', an emphatic expression of the barbegazi. There is peril throughout the book though this is very mild. Tessa learns that people are not always as trustworthy as they seem. I always love the text-book sections that punctuate the novel, describing features and traits of the barbegazi. This is really effective with ambitious vocabulary for children and introduces them to another style of writing, combining fictive and non-fiction styles. The book is set between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve, that magical time when you don't know what day it really is and we are all enjoying the post-Christmas days where we live in our pyjamas, eat too much and don't really do much of anything except relax and catch up. It was simply the most perfect time to read this book and imagine I was in a gorgeous Alpine ski lodge, surrounded by magical folk who will keep me safe in the snow. This is a fantastic debut novel and I really can't wait to see what Norup offers up next. Thanks for making my Christmas even more magical, Helle!
The Missing Barbegazi is more than the story of one girl, Tessa, wanting to find the elusive barbegazi of the Alps to prove to her former friend Lisa that her and her recently deceased grandfather Opa are not crazy to believe that they exist.
It is also the story of Gawion, a 150-years-young barbegazi youth starting to show his independence and act upon his own instincts when it comes to who to trust to find his missing sister, Maeg.
Both Tessa and Gawion are learning about who to trust in their changing worlds and some of what is really important in life – such as when it is or is not important for someone else to believe you.
I really enjoyed this story, as it had a good mix of magic, realism, and touching poignancy. The effects of Opa’s recent passing on Tessa, her Oma (grandmother) and her mom is done in a realistic and sensitive way – it echoed very truly with me and hit very close to home, as I lost both of my grandmothers in the past year. It made the story very relatable and if not hard to read, a bit painful as it brought back some of those feelings in me as well – but not so much that it drew me out of or away from the story, just the opposite. Norup handles the complexity of the way death affects those who remain in a way that is accessible and enriches the story instead of stealing the whole show.
The other main theme was the search for the avalanche of barbegazi – one barbegazi has gone missing, but how will the remaining barbegazi find her when there is a barbegazi hunter in the area and actively searching for them? That is Gawion’s big problem: how to find his sister when his parents won’t listen to him and tell him to continue staying away from humans or risk being caught himself. But what if the only way to find his sister is to reveal himself to a human and risk everything he knows? Norup handles his dilemma well too, addressing the difficulties of being a youth on the cusp of teenagerhood/independence and the friction that can arise between child and parents during a stressful and difficult situation.
Norup introduces us, of course, to barbegazi in this story – a race of fairy creatures who live and thrive in the cold and ice. A cold ice block is to them what a warm fire pit is to us, to mention one peculiarity of the barbegazi. While I do not know if barbegazi are inspired by yeti, a pre-existing fantasy creature, or a completely new invention of Norup, she does a good job giving them flesh and background, taking into consideration their longer life spans and how they have their own culture as well to craft a family unit that is believable in their context.
This is overall a magical tale full of heart, with a good balance of emotion and action to keep young readers engaged and enjoying the story while also getting some exposure to emotions and situations that they may soon be experiencing for themselves.
I received this ebook ARC from Netgalley and this has in no way affected my opinion or content of this review.
Thanks Kidlit Exchange and again Jolly Fish Press for the ARC of debut author HS Norup’s Middle Grade fantasy THE MISSING BARBEGAZI.
I love me some crypto stories and obscure folklore, which means I bought hook, line, and sinker the urban legend that every single story in “Western” (AKA white European) folklore has been retold a trillion times. Wrong!
Meet the barbegazi, a furry white Alpine gnome/mini Bigfoot creature that for some reason isn’t discussed much online. I guess most cryptid hunters can’t ski that well? Eleven-year-old Tessa is still reeling from the death of her grandfather, known locally as a kook due to his past claims that he’d seen one of the fabled barbegazi. Until the day she sees Gawion while skiing off piste, and he saves her when she falls into a deep snowbank.
Gawion broke his dad’s rule not to have anything to do with humans – Papa was kind to one once 154 years ago and got locked in one of Queen Victoria’s zoos as a thanks. But Gawion also had a secret human friend (Tessa’s grandfather) who’d bring him frozen berries.
Unfortunately, a cryptid hunter/disgraced biologist at Tessa’s mom’s hotel has captured Gawion’s sister Maeg. The sociopathic Dr. Bahne will stop at nothing to keep his catch chained and save his reputation – including stage Tessa’s death.
Bahne fails in a somewhat quick though humorous and satisfying conclusion, and Tessa and Gawion get their happy ending, with the promise of a secret friendship. For the creatures’ safety, human friends of the Barbegazi are sworn to silence.
For the extra dorky reader: A Google search for barbegazi in English turned up very little information. Hmm… *rubs beardless chin* perhaps anyone who knows anything keeps it to themselves in real life?
Tessa /Gawion’s story is probably complete, but I’d definitely be around for more stories about skiing and obscure European cryptids from Norup. THE MISSING BARBEGAZI had just the right balance of adventure, magic, and pre-teen friend strife to keep me turning pages. It didn’t surprise me to learn the book, which released last fall in Europe, has already won a Red Dot award.
Words like aestivate and piste may send kids (or adults) to a dictionary. A skiier for over 30 years, perhaps I’m not the best judge, but I’d assume the narrative of some of Tessa’s races might be a little tough for a non-skiier to follow.
THE MISSING BARBEGAZI will be on shelves just in time for ski season – to be specific, Nov 12, 2019 – from Jolly Fish Press/Flux Books.
Tessa is having a rough Christmas/New Year's season. Her Opa just died not long ago, and now her Oma's health isn't great. Tessa misses Opa greatly. He was her ski coach, and filled her with his stories about meeting barbegazi, the Swiss snow elves that rescue victims of avalanches. Tessa really wants to see a barbegazi and prove that her grandpa wasn't crazy. None of her friends believe. So Tessa decides to go out looking on her own, even if skiing alone isn't the safest. Gawion is an adolescent barbegazi, just a few hundred years old. When he rescues a human girl out of a hole in the snow, he messes up the forgetting charm, and she comes looking for him. She might be a blessing in disguise though, because somehow she knows to bring the berry tribute which the old human forgot to bring this year. And when his sister disappears, feared kidnapped by a bad human, this Tessa might be his only hope.
There are very few books in English that feature a Swiss setting, and even fewer that feature Swiss mythical animals. This is a cute little adventure that never gets too tense, features lots of snow and skiing, and introduces a mythical creature I'd never heard of before. The descriptions of the landscape and little ski village definitely took me back to places in Switzerland I've visited, which I loved. Tessa's relationship with her grandparents is sweet, and though she is grieving and worried, it never feels overwhelming. She's channeling it into finding and then helping the barbegazi. There's a little side story about how what's going on has been distracting Tessa and affecting her competitive skiing, and she experiences a little breakthrough in that area by the end of the story. (The idea of U11 and U13 ski teams seems so foreign to me here in Thailand, but an aspect of being in Switzerland that definitely makes everyday life there come alive.) Recommended to fantasy creature fans, and Swiss setting fans.
Notes on content: No language issues. No sexual content. There are some perilous situations and some knocking out of people/creatures and restraining with iron (which seriously hurts the creatures).
In this wintry adventure, we meet Tessa as she learns of the existence of creatures called barbegazis, who live in the snowy mountains of her town, and becomes caught up in the search to save them once she meets Gawion after an accident while out skiing. Though I thought the book was quite slow paced up till the point where they formed an alliance to bring down the person attempting to capture the barbegazis, it really picked up after that point, and it was exciting to watch the plot unfold and take some interesting twists and turns during the climax. The villain, who I won`t spoil the identity of, was one of the most evil I`ve ever read, and I loved Tessa and Gawion as protagonists. It was a lovely surprise when I opened this and realised that it was a dual narrative, as I can`t think of any books with similar concepts that have this, and it let me see the conflicts they have from both sides, and Gawion`s perspective meant that I understood barbegazis a lot better than I likely would have had I only had Tessa`s point of view, and the language he uses added to the worldbuilding further, as do the extracts from the book on barbegzis scattered throughout that provide a lot of information in a fun way. In Tessa`s sections, seeing how much she wanted to help her Oma (who is, like the rest of their family, grieving the loss of her grandfather) and the way she was being treated by the other children made me feel a lot of sympathy for her, and I enjoyed her friendships with Gawion and Felix. This was such a sweet story full of friendship, family and magic, and I`d very much recommend it to anyone looking for a heart-warming read that gets them in the mood for some colder weather. 4/5
Thank you to the publisher @jollyfishpress and the author @hsnorup for sharing an advance copy of The Missing Barbegazi with the #kidlitexchange network. This book will hit shelves in the US on November 12, 2019.
Tessa has grown up listening to her grandfather's stories of the fabled barbegazi. Now, she's dealing with the grief of the death of her grandfather and her grandmother's declining health (she seems to be suffering of a broken heart) and Tessa is determined to find a barbegazi and prove their existence. Tessa is elated when she finds a barbegazi, but her happiness dissipates when she learns that his sister is missing and that he believes she has been captured by an elf hunter. Tessa promises to help him find and free his missing sister. During the search the two become friends, and Tessa begins to realize that sometimes its better that somethings remain a secret.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this book is Tessa's determination and loyalty. She has always believed her grandfather's stories of the barbegazi even when there was no evidence to support them. Then, after meeting a barbegazi and befriending him, her loyalty towards him never wavers. The book is full of rich description, and I also liked that there is a book within a book that allows you to learn more about the mysterious barbegazi. This was also a fairly quick read and can be read in a single sitting.
I was lucky enough to receive a proof copy of this lovely book from Pushkin Children's - thank you.
The Missing Barbegazi is a charming tale, mixing elements of MC Tessa's real life with ingredients straight out of a fairytale. At the same time as Tessa is dealing with the grief of losing her beloved Opa, the illness of her Oma, the pressure of competing in a prestigious skiing competition and life as a twelve-year-old (all of which is finely observed), her story interweaves with the tale of Gawion. Gawion and his family are part of the mythology of the mountains, something Tessa's Opa was passionately interested in, and as her life becomes enmeshed with Gawion's (and with his struggle to recover something precious which has been stolen from him) Tessa realises she has a chance to vindicate her grandfather's (Opa's) beliefs and let his memory rest. She also knows that getting to the heart of Gawion's mystery will help to heal her Oma's heartache - but Oma's isnt the only life at stake... Can they solve the mystery in time?
I particularly enjoyed the use of a book-within-a-book here, and the unravelling of the mystery is satisfying and clever. I also loved Gawion's family and their history. This is an elegantly written and engaging story, and I hope it will be widely enjoyed.
A fantastic adventure story set deep in the snowy mountains. The skiing terminology threw me at first; I figured most of it out from context, but it was quite unfamiliar to me. It didn't really matter, anyway, because I got swept up in the adventure story. This is a fascinating story of a young girl meeting the Yeti like creature her grandfather was scorned for believing in. I hope it's going to be a series, as a couple of minor story threads are left at the end, but if not it works fine on its own. A great read for Christmas.
I received a proof copy in exchange for an honest review.
He uncovered the sky-blue carrier and snaked his way backwards through the tunnel, keeping a solid grip on the handles of the sack.
Back inside, he whistled triumphantly.
"It brought the berry gift!" Bowing, with a flourishing movement of his hand, he split the carrier open with one of his sharp claws. Clear, see-through bags tumbled out, revealing the abundance of berries.
Maman looked in wonder at the growing mountain of wild strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. There were even some of the large cultivated strawberries that Gawion loved.
"Nourishment," she said. "We are saved." The desperate gleam in her eyes made Gawion wonder just how close to starvation they'd come.
This is a magical, imaginative, and fun, fast read for middle graders. The story focuses on a young girl named Tessa and an old tale her Grandfather (Opa in Switzerland, Germany) told her. She was very close to him and was struggling to deal with his death. So she was determined to find the gnome-like creatures called Barbegazi that once saved her beloved Grandfather's life.
Thus begins the snowy adventure in search of the berry-loving snow-dwellers. We follow the two main character's plot-lines, building tension and anticipation -- eager for Tessa and the young male Barbegazi, Gawain's paths to intersect. The story moved forward nicely until we get stuck inside Tessa's head -- in her thoughts. . . this bogs down the plot's progression. I found these sections boring and often felt the urge to skip them entirely.
Middle-schooler's will enjoy this tale of trust, friendship, and self-discovery. They can understand Tessa's feelings towards her Grandfather (Opa) and the importance of his role in her life. The combination of centuries-old creatures popularized in mythological folk-lore and Norup's imagination is a one, two knock-out! She has delivered a new, entertaining (and hopefully long-running) cast of characters. I look forward to the author's future works -- as she hones her craft and develops her own unique flair.
The Missing Barbegazi is possibly one of the best children’s books I’ve read this year. Tessa has very recently lost her Opa and her Oma is heartbroken. To reconnect with his memory, Tessa follows his paths up the snowy mountain trails where she skis, in hopes of seeing a mythical Barbegazi. No-one believes they exist apart from her, and her Opa, who said he had been saved by one.
Gawion, a Barbegazi, loses his sister in an avalanche, and when she cannot be found, the whole family worries she has been taken by a human. While he battles with his strict, scared parents to look further a field for Maeg, Gawion saves a strange, small human who has fallen into a hole in the ice.
Together with some help from a human friend, Tessa and Gawion unravel the mystery of Maeg’s disappearance, forging a bond of trust and small magic between the two species.
There are talking dogs, mysterious professors who are experts in Elves and a crossword loving Oma who Mum has to look after. Tessa is tested in her stamina on the slopes and in her heart, as is Gawion’s bravery and memory magic.
It’s a magical little story about unlikely but much needed friendship, and I’ll definitely be recommending this one to my students.
The Missing Barbegazi by H. S. Norup is a fantastic children's tale, drawing on little-known mythology to construct an engaging winter story. Tessa, a talented young snow-skier, believes in the barbegazi because her late Opa was saved by one after he was trapped by an avalanche. When the barbegazi find themselves in danger, it is Tessa and her cousin Felix who must risk all to save them.
The book switches between two primary points of view: Tessa's and the young male barbegazi, Gawion's. Despite this frequent shifting, the story is easy to follow, and both characters are engage well with their readers. As Tessa and Gawion's joint story develops, the author reveals further details of barbegazi mythology, making the thoroughness of her pre-writing research clear. The wintery setting for the book makes it a brilliant cosy read; it calls forth images of warm fireplaces, hot chocolates, and snowy adventures.
Overall, The Missing Barbegazi was a great read. By using existing mythology, Norup provides a healthy foundation upon which her story can rest, while leaving plenty of room for new imagination. This book, I'm sure, will be a smash hit among young readers when it releases on November 12th, 2019.
Tessa’s grandfather has died. Her grandmother is ill and goes to the hospital. Meanwhile Tessa is searching for the barbegazi that her deceased grandfather told her about. When practicing for a ski race, she falls and can’t get out of the snow. A barbegazi rescues her. He then makes her forget him. However a dream she has makes her remember seeing it. She returns to find him again when a man dressed in all white goes past the safety line to ski. Somehow Tessa decides that isn’t what he is planning to do. Why? When Tessa discovers that a barbegazi is missing, she decides she must find and rescue it. How will she do that? Will she be able to do it?
I enjoyed the story the author wrote immensely. It is not only about helping other but also showing loyalty and true friendship. It shows believing something that no one else has seen (but your grandpa). It shows the love and care between family and friends. I enjoy the adventure that Tessa went on. She is one strong, heroic gal. Don’t miss out on reading this book!
Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I wasn’t obligated to write a favorable review or any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
This was such a cute story! In it we follow Tessa who is dealing with the recent loss of her grandfather and is desperately trying to find evidence of the barbegazi, who he swore saved him years ago from an avalanche. We also follow a family of barbegazis who are dealing with the disappearance of one of their family members.
The book is peppered with lore about the barbegazis and their habits/mythology which I thought was a really nice touch. Throughout the book there are some times and Tessa makes impulsive decisions that aren't the smartest, or has thoughts that are a tad selfish but it's good to see her reason through those thoughts or think retroactively about her decisions and their consequences. For the age that she is her behavior and thoughts are appropriate.
The family dynamics and friendships in this book were really charming and authentic. It touched on a lot of harder subjects such as grief (and the effects thereof), slight bullying and others. It's a fun winter adventure with a lot of twists and turns and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Barbegazi are mythical creatures from Swiss and French folklore. Author @hsnorup’s middle grade adventure story, The Missing Barbegazi gives readers another perspective on these creatures. Tessa is grieving for her Opa. Her grandfather used to tell her stories and he had a secret but died before he could share it with her. The book begins in the middle of Tessa’s grief. She wants more than anything to discover barbegazi are real - and this sets her on an adventure where she comes to understand the importance of trust. Told in dual POV, this is a charming and delightful story set in the snowy Alps. A fine debut novel from H S Norup. I am very much looking forward to reading Norup’s next book, The Hungry Ghost to be released by @pushkin_press this September.
I was given an electronic copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Sadly this just didn't quite work for me. It's a nice and quite imaginative story, but it needed a bit more delicate touch with the emotional aspects and a bit more flair with the imaginative ones. I never got a real sense of place, except lots of snow. I think of how well someone like Diana Wynne Jones could have written this story (which is maybe not a fair comparison, but then again...). Honestly, I found it rather dull.
Delightful and quirky. The alignment of Tessa’s world of competition skiing and Gawion’s life as a mythical alpine elf seems too improbable as a basis for a young adult novel but it works and works well. There’s something about the authenticity of Tessa’s life - with her focus on daily training and appropriate safety gear - that contrasts with Gawion’s elvish existence to produce a tale that is oddly authentic. Filled with adventure and friendship and villains and hot chocolate. It’s heartwarming.
Grieving the loss of her beloved grandfather, Tessa embarks on a mission to prove that the barbegazi do exist in the mountains by her village. What follows is a sublime adventure to save one of the last barbegazi from the clutches of the villainous Professor Bahne. This is an enchanting debut full of heart, trust, family secrets and magic. Beautifully written, this tale is a breath of fresh air and one not to be missed.
What a bewitching tale this was! Snow and mini Yeti-creatures, ski dramas and cool friendships, talking dogs and an elaborate rescue plan. The Missing Barbegazi is a delightful middle grade with heaps of heart. It was recommended to me by a friend, and I'm so glad she pointed me in its direction!