Gnat Stokes and the Foggy Bottom Swamp Queen

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9780399242878: Gnat Stokes and the Foggy Bottom Swamp Queen
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When disaster strikes her mountain home community, twelve-year-old Gnat becomes enraged at the evil Swamp Queen who lurks in Foggy Bottom and, despite the dangers that she will face, heads off to battle her in order to bring peace to her homeland once and for all.

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From School Library Journal:

Starred Review. Grade 5-8–Motherless Gnat Stokes, 12, is a cheerful, hardy, adventurous sort who is determined to rescue Goodlow Pryce, who was stolen 7 years earlier by Zelda, the malevolent, magical Swamp Queen. When Gnat catches a mysterious swamp cat and discovers that Goodlow sent it to Penelope, his true love, she removes the charmed locket and the rescue message it carries. When she puts in on, she falls in love with Goodlow. Battling scary swamp monsters and the revelation that Zelda is her mother, Gnat comes to realize that she must give Goodlow up in order to save him. Told in Gnat's mountain-tinged, irreverent voice, this imaginative tale is strewn with laughter from humor involving the consumption of beans to send-ups of self-righteous community figures who don't favor education. Imagine Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Sang Spell (S & S, 1998) with much wilder plot events and characters and you will begin to see the certain appeal of this bounding, delightful, Tam Lin-based story.–Cindy Darling Codell, formerly at Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist:

Gr. 5-8. Keehn spins a magical Appalachian tall tale filled with kid-pleasing elements: a nightmarish swamp swarming with hordes of gruesome, bewitched creatures; sweethearts tragically separated by Zelda, the evil Swamp Queen; Eatmore Beans, a talking cat bearing an enchanted locket; and a most unlikely heroine--feisty, 12-year-old Gnat Stokes. In spite of her unfortunate parentage (no one knows who her mother is and her long-gone father is a "no-good Rebel," though the war ended years ago) and the fact that local folks think she "was born to raise trouble," Gnat longs to be a hero. When she intercepts a mysterious locket, it immediately triggers a series of bizarre, dangerous events, inextricably linking Gnat's fate with the lovers Penelope and Goodlow. Keehn's tale is by turns, creepy, laugh-aloud funny, touching, and utterly satisfying. Her voice is sassy and straight out of the Tennessee hills, making this a book that begs to be read aloud as well as a superb choice for readers' theater. Chris Sherman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Published by Philomel (2005)
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