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Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains: 05/15/13
Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains by Laurel Snyder is is the tale of an unlikely friendship between a farmer's daughter, Lucy, and a prince, Wynston. When King Desmond insists his son spend his time learning how to be a proper prince, Lucy decides it's high time to find her missing mother.
It takes a while for the adventure part of the book to get underway. The initial set up of the kingdom and the characters has a similar feel to A Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo.
The trips up and down the mountain (one each for Lucy and Wyston) are the best parts of the book. Lucy's traveling companions are unusual and utterly charming. The mountain itself has some remarkable features and memorable inhabitants.
But the book just doesn't gel as well as Penny Dreadful. I would however love to re-visit the characters, especially with the unique compromise the king and Lucy's father make to accommodate their children's wishes.