Grades 6 - 8
Grade level Equivalent: 5.5
Lexile Measure®: 840L
DRA: Not Available
Guided Reading: Not Available
Type of Book: Chapter Book
- Fables, Folk Tales and Myths
- Young Adult
- Challenges and Overcoming Obstacles
- Confronting and Resolving Fears
About This Book
Winner of the 2009 William C. Morris Award
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Charlotte Miller has always scoffed at talk of a curse on her family's woolen mill, which holds her beloved small town together. But after her father's death, the bad luck piles up: departing workers, impossible debts, an overbearing uncle. Then a stranger named Jack Spinner offers a tempting proposition: He can turn straw into gold thread, for the small price of her mother's ring.
As Charlotte is drawn deeper into her bargains with Spinner — and a romance with the local banker — she must unravel the truth of the curse on the mill and save the community she's always called home.
"If you'll allow me to demonstrate, I do think I could be of some help to you here."
I smiled tightly. "You'd have to be able to make gold appear from thin air to be much help to us now, I'm afraid."
"Gold, you say?" he said quietly. "Well, not out of the air, maybe, but —" He reached toward Rosie and drew a length of straw free from her hat. From out of a pocket in his jacket appeared an old-fashioned handheld drop spindle, the kind no one uses anymore, and he sent it spinning with a turn of his hand. Slowly, as we watched, he drew out the straw and spun it — spun it!
As if it were a roving of wool! Rosie and I stood there and watched him, moment by moment, as the spindle bobbed and twirled. Something pulled out from the brown straw and through his knobby fingers, and where it should have gone onto the spindle, the finest strands of gleaming gold threads appeared. Round and round the spindle went, and the gleaming of gold turned with it. I don't know how long we watched it, turning and turning, flashing gold with every revolution. I could not take my eyes away.