In Sang Spell, Josh’s mom gets killed in a car crash and Josh decides to move away to his aunt’s house. He hides four hundred dollars in his shoe and a plane ticket to Texas in back pocket of his spare pants in a plastic bag. He has to hitchhike to get to the airport to fly to his aunt’s house. But when he gets on a truck and falls asleep, he gets dropped of in the middle of nowhere, then gets mugged and loses his four hundred dollars, but not his plane ticket. When he wakes up, he finds himself on a wagon driven by a mute woman named Leone. He falls asleep again and wakes up in a stable in a village called Canara, where there is no electricity and no cars. It is as if time has forgotten the place. He makes friends with Leone’s daughter, Mavis. In Canara, the people there have to work for every bite of food they get by digging a root called ginsang, which heals you if you drink the tea made by it’s roots. Josh wants to escape and get to his aunt’s place, but somehow he can’t. When old Isobel preforms her changeover, a legendary process that only few possess that happens when they reach a certain age and then turn back into infants to start their life over again, Josh is finally able to leave.
I thought that Phyllis Reynolds Naylor did well explaining what it was like to go out of the city of Canara and just end up back where you came from. I could almost feel what it was like the way she explained it. It sounded somehow like being in a bowl and whenever you tried to climb it you would just slide back in.
I also thought she did well with the research part, because whenever we researched anything about the book that we didn’t understand then it would always be there, except for the part where the city moves. Even when we researched the ginsang it said that it was used for healing and it was dug by the root, with bright red berries. It also said that it was high in demand for Chinese traders.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes history books and informational books.