Into the Tall, Tall Grass
A girl journeys across her family’s land to save her grandmother’s life in this captivating and magical debut that’s perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.Yolanda Rodríguez-O’Connell has a secret. All the members of her family have a magical gift—all, that is, except for Yolanda. Still, it’s something she can never talk about, or the townsfolk will call her family brujas—witches. When her grandmother, Wela, falls into an unexplained sleep, Yolanda is scared. Her father is off fighting in a faraway war, her mother died long ago, and Yolanda has isolated herself from her best friend and twin sister. If she loses her grandmother, who will she have left?When a strange grass emerges in the desert behind their house, Wela miraculously wakes, begging Yolanda to take her to the lone pecan tree left on their land. Determined not to lose her, Yolanda sets out on this journey with her sister, her ex-best friend, and a boy who has a crush on her. But what is the mysterious box that her grandmother needs to find? And how will going to the pecan tree make everything all right? Along the way, Yolanda discovers long-buried secrets that have made their family gift a family curse. But she also finds the healing power of the magic all around her, which just might promise a new beginning.

Into the Tall, Tall Grass Details

TitleInto the Tall, Tall Grass
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 1st, 1970
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Magical Realism, Fantasy

Into the Tall, Tall Grass Review

  • Shannon Doleski
    January 1, 1970
    I got to read Ryon's book prepublication, and I am so happy I did. In this middle grade full of magical realism, Yolanda must take her abuela to the pecan tree at the edge of their property to set things right. This book has it all: magical butterflies, girls in STEM, family secrets, LGBT characters, naughty little dogs, and machetes. Along their journey (teamed with her sister, her ex best friend, and a cinnamon roll boy) Wela tells the story of the pecan tree and finding one's magical gifts. I got to read Ryon's book prepublication, and I am so happy I did. In this middle grade full of magical realism, Yolanda must take her abuela to the pecan tree at the edge of their property to set things right. This book has it all: magical butterflies, girls in STEM, family secrets, LGBT characters, naughty little dogs, and machetes. Along their journey (teamed with her sister, her ex best friend, and a cinnamon roll boy) Wela tells the story of the pecan tree and finding one's magical gifts. This is a beautiful debut!!! Read it! Read it! Read it!
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  • Alda
    January 1, 1970
    Got to read it early! And I really enjoyed it! I’m ready for the next adventure. Great Job!
  • Loriel Ryon
    January 1, 1970
    Well, this is my book and I've put my heart and and soul into it. So of course I'm rating it a 5! :)
  • Kathie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the author and publisher for an eARC of this book.I was drawn to this book because I love to read intergenerational stories, especially those from cultures with which I'm not familiar. The women in the Rodriguez family all have special gifts, including Yolanda's twin sister, Sonja, who has a special ability with plants and insects like their grandmother, Wela. But Wela has been unconscious for a couple of weeks, and the neighbor who's been caring for the girls while trying to Thank you to the author and publisher for an eARC of this book.I was drawn to this book because I love to read intergenerational stories, especially those from cultures with which I'm not familiar. The women in the Rodriguez family all have special gifts, including Yolanda's twin sister, Sonja, who has a special ability with plants and insects like their grandmother, Wela. But Wela has been unconscious for a couple of weeks, and the neighbor who's been caring for the girls while trying to contact their father (who is deployed overseas) decides its time to call a social worker. Mysteriously one night, just before the girls and Wela are set to relocate, Wela awakes and tells Yolanda that all will be right if she can just get to the pecan tree on the far end of their property. The result is a journey through a land that becomes strange and unfamiliar, with unexpected company, secret revelations, and unanticipated discoveries that will affect everyone along the way.The journey is such an awakening for Yolanda, and I loved watching her slowly let go and develop in her own way as the story progresses. The healing that comes from the family stories, as well as growth from confronting secrets and misunderstandings, is heartwarming. I loved the magical elements, especially the story behind the pecan tree. I also like that there is a same sex relationship and that it played an important role in the story but was not the central focus of it.INTO THE TALL, TALL GRASS is recommended for fans of THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH, and I would definitely recommend this story for middle grade collections.
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  • Rebecca Balcárcel
    January 1, 1970
    A joy to read, this family story uses a sprinkle of magic to keep the reader guessing what mysteries the strange, desert land holds! Twelve-year-old Yolanda seems ordinary, especially in a family whose women have a reputation for mysterious powers. But soon, the girl without a gift will be making a journey that could save her friends, her grandmother, and the whole drought-stricken region. Though many troubles could distract her -- such as a dad who has been deployed, a sister who is distancing A joy to read, this family story uses a sprinkle of magic to keep the reader guessing what mysteries the strange, desert land holds! Twelve-year-old Yolanda seems ordinary, especially in a family whose women have a reputation for mysterious powers. But soon, the girl without a gift will be making a journey that could save her friends, her grandmother, and the whole drought-stricken region. Though many troubles could distract her -- such as a dad who has been deployed, a sister who is distancing herself, and the threat of foster case -- her only thought is to take her dear, dying Wela (abuela/grandma) to the lone pecan tree on so-called Bruja Butte. Yolanda rejects the word bruja, partly because she's scientifically-minded and partly because she knows her grandmother's way with plants is harmless. Her sister's gift is more inconvenient, but Yolanda keeps to her goal of reaching the pecan tree. The tree is special; it's the site of family graves, the remnant of a vast orchard, and the marker of a historic turning point. If Yolanda can bring Wela to the tree, she may discover inner powers she never guessed. With complex relationships, strong story-telling, and emotional honesty, Ryon has built a world that readers will enjoy experiencing!
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  • Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
    January 1, 1970
    I gave myself a week to read Into the Tall, Tall Grass by Loriel Ryon. And I finished it in two days. It would’ve been just one day, if it weren’t for hosting company, because I did. not. want. to put this book down. This story casts its own magic on the reader, enchanting you from the very first page.Yolanda’s abuela, Wela, is asleep and she can’t awaken. We’re introduced to the family gift through the butterflies who’ve made a home of Wela’s hair. You see, there’s a genetic trait that goes I gave myself a week to read Into the Tall, Tall Grass by Loriel Ryon. And I finished it in two days. It would’ve been just one day, if it weren’t for hosting company, because I did. not. want. to put this book down. This story casts its own magic on the reader, enchanting you from the very first page.Yolanda’s abuela, Wela, is asleep and she can’t awaken. We’re introduced to the family gift through the butterflies who’ve made a home of Wela’s hair. You see, there’s a genetic trait that goes along the Rodriguez-line—one that can make bees and butterflies follow someone for all their lives, or one that can make someone put their hands on a cactus and make its fruit ripen, tender and sweet, or heal serious wounds in minutes.Everyone has a gift except for Yolanda. And that doesn’t bother her one little bit, she swears. And even if it did, she’s got better things to worry about—because Wela is dying, and the only thing that can help is if Yolanda takes her to the last standing pecan tree in their long-gone pecan farm. Joining her are her sister, Sonja, her ex-best friend, Ghita, and last but not least, Hasik, a boy she maybe likes back.This is a strange land, Wela says, and the land is getting stranger by the minute, with grass growing so quickly, you can hear it, a house disappearing for no reason at all, and how it seems you can walk for miles and get basically nowhere. Yolanda needs time if she’s going to save her grandmother—but it seems like time is the one thing she doesn’t have enough of.It’s difficult to categorize this book because it contains such multitudes. Yes, it's got wild magical realism—but the characters adore science, studying DNA and cures for illnesses and how to logically explain their experience in the world. The story captures the thrill of a first crush, but also the heartbreak of grief and loss. The tale Wela tells of her life is just as enrapturing as Yolanda’s story, both woven together to make this book un-put-downable.Yolanda doesn’t realize it yet, but by taking her Wela to the pecan tree, she’s healing her broken heart and all the relationships in her life. And, perhaps, that’s what this book is about most: healing, by discovering and accepting who you are. And instead of running from life, learning to welcome it and everything it brings: the magic and the science, the heartbreak and the love.I already plan on recommending Into the Tall, Tall Grass to everyone I’ve ever met. I know this book and its magnificent prose will stay with me for a long time, having woven its magic on me like the inexplicable appearance of crackling, magic grass.
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  • Sarah Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    ouch my heart
  • Haya
    January 1, 1970
    This book is awesome! I read it to my class and they loved it! This is a great review
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