Dust Girl

Written by Sarah Zettel
Review by Jo Ann Butler

On April 14, 1935, the worst dust storm ever recorded blows across Kansas. That is the day that Calliope LeRoux’s mother disappears. It is also the day that 13-year-old Callie discovers that, although she has never played piano before, when she lays her fingers on the keyboard she can play boogie woogie like a pro.

Just one small problem – whether Callie plays piano or sings, her music pierces the barrier between worlds. Now wishes can become reality, and Callie discovers her true identity. The father she never knew was heir to the Midnight Throne, and so is she. However, there are other heirs who don’t want to see Callie reacquainted with her family. With the help of Jack Holland, a teenager she rescues from an abandoned jail, Callie flees from the Seelies and their undead minions.

In her historical fantasy Dust Girl, Sarah Zettel creates an intriguing fairyland steeped in the music of America’s Great Depression, and shimmering with the magic that Callie finds within herself. Dust Girl is the first book in the American Fairy Trilogy. The story stands well by itself, but leaves plenty of unanswered questions for the rest of Zettel’s trilogy. Young readers who enjoy well-told, gritty fantasy and a tough, believable heroine will enjoy Dust Girl, and so did I.