Published in: 2001
Age Range: Children
Setting: The Marble Mountains
- Copper Beech is a 10-year-old girl who is sent by her aunt to rejoin her family in the Marble Mountains.
- Questrid is a 12-year-old orphan who helps Copper find her missing parents.
- Granite is the embittered leader of the Rock people, enemies of the Wood people whom Copper lives with.
Copper Beech is sent to the Marble Mountains to rejoin her family whom she has never met; when she gets there she learns that her father and mother both disappeared 6 years ago. She befriends a local boy, Questrid, an orphan taken in by Copper's uncle & aunt. The Wood people her father came from are enemies with her mother's Rock family and Copper must try to heal the feud between them.
Literary Quality: A lightweight and charming piece, focusing on the thoughts of a 10-year-old girl who discovers that her parents came from feuding families. The story achieves a gently magical feel based on the characters' affinity with wood or metal, and draws the reader along with no real surprises.
Family: Really, this simple tale is about Copper's family, and the tragic circumstances of feuding families that left her without her parents. Copper's uncle and aunt take her in until she finds her own parents and reconciles the two families.
Magic: Just a little magic mostly involving the fact that different families have a rapport with different material, so there's a chair made from palm-tree wood which rocks Copper to sleep, and a magic charm bracelet made of gold, worked by Copper's mother who could knit gold out of rocks.
As she opened the door a delicate smell of sandalwood and lilac wafted out. Copper hesitated, breathing in the scent, then stepped into the room. It was like walking into a garden, the colours were all earthy brown and green, honey and golden. There was the faintest, gentle sound, like wind ruffling the leaves on a mild summer's day and yet the air was still.
Copper chose a large, low chair with a high back and wide arms. It was very comfortable, padded with cushions and when she leant back and closed her eyes, the chair began to buzz quietly beneath her and move, like shifting sand on a beach, until it was perfectly comfortable
Sunday 17th August 2003