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Earth Magic: A Stepping Stone Book    by Mallory Loehr order for
Earth Magic
by Mallory Loehr
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 1999 (1999)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is the second chapter book in The Magic Elements Quartet, in each of which young Polly and her brother Sam encounter myth and magic.

This time, they're staying at their grandparents' farm, when they start tripping over a shifty rock. A parchment wedged under it asks them to look after an 'Earth Child', keeping it always in sight. This babysitting job comes with resources to call on - three elemental objects to be used for emergency communication, though the kids have to unravel riddles to work out what the objects are.

They have to look after the rock, and it doesn't seem to want to stay with them. Complicating matters is their six-year-old cousin Audrey who constantly annoys them by wanting to help. Soon the trio is involved in adventures under the earth, involving Persephone and her dog Cerberus, the river Styx and its boatman Charon. Along the way they learn that things aren't always what they seem, and that young Audrey is actually a big help.

Earth Magic is a cute, simple story that builds lessons about getting along together and looking after each other into an adventure in the middle of a Greek myth.

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