by Kate Story
Included in the Globe and Mail's 2021 Holiday Gift Guide for Young Readers
They say Dorthea’s family is cursed. The house built by Great-Great-Grandfather on the Southside Road has never been at peace. Old people say it lies on a fairy path—a gateway to the world of the Little Strangers.
All Newfoundland is enthralled when Marconi arrives with a wireless telegraphy team. Dor takes on a new identity as newspaper errand boy Jack, and joins the famous experimenter on Signal Hill. Becoming Jack is a profound personal awakening. But Jack also discovers that Marconi has a secret mission: receiving the first wireless transatlantic radio signal. And this new technology is wreaking havoc on the Little Strangers.
Then Dor’s mother disappears. Has she been kidnapped in revenge? Will Jack be forced to sabotage Marconi’s experiments to save her?
Dancing between the hidden realm of fairylore and the dynamic world of early 20th-century scientific innovation, Urchin is an exuberant story of self-discovery.
From the author of Blasted and YA fantasy duo Antilia.
What folks are saying
Kate Story’s Urchin is electric with magic, glittering language, and high-wire tension. Story’s protagonist, non-binary Dor, is a brave spy and adventurer who soars off the page, out the window, through the gloom to the wonderfully terrifying kingdom of the fairies, on a wild quest to save her mother who has been led astray by the little people. This masterful coming-of-age tale is alive with energy and insight, charged with passion and wit. Here’s a queer, ultra-modern, historic St. John’s, where scientific advancement smacks up against potent magic and ancient lore. Sparks fly. Prepare to be zapped with high voltage suspense and megawatts of fun. Prepare to be spellbound.
~ Lisa Moore, author of Flannery, Caught, and February
Witty, tender, heartrending, Urchin is the compelling coming of age story of Dor, who must grapple with curses, sabotage, and their very own identity. Urchin beautifully blends history and fantasy, bringing both early 20th-century Newfoundland and its rich fairy lore vividly to life. Protagonist Dor is perhaps the greatest treat of all; a clever, endearing underdog who you root for from start to finish. Kate Story handles Dor’s struggles with gender and sexuality with honesty and grace. A truly valuable novel and a must-read!
~ Caighlan Smith, author of Children of Icarus
A sprawling, lyrical historical fantasy.