Edward was dreaming. He was trying to pick something up with a spoon. The thing, which was going to lead him to a brilliant scientific discovery, kept slithering away like a worm. Then, just as he thought he’d finally nabbed it, there was a tremendous kaboooooom! and he woke up.


With that intriguing first paragraph, we meet Edward (far left on the cover). Not long after we are introduced to the group: Danton, Feenix, and Brigit (pictured clockwise). Their personalities are wildly different, but in middle school they are drawn to each other.

The third person narration gives equal time to all whether individually or in pairs. This is actually the second story for these characters after first being introduced in 2013’s THE TIME FETCH. The new plot laid out for THE TILTERSMITH is a separate story so no worries if you read this one first.

Climate change is all around us and our next generation is already gearing up for the world they will be dealing with as adults. It gets the full treatment here.

The setting of Brooklyn, New York is a perfect backdrop for a Spring that can’t escape from Winter’s grip. The groups’ science teacher believes climate change is the reason but soon they learn of magical forces at work. The strange appearance of Superintendent Tiltersmith at their school is weird enough, but he has taken an interest in the four and they are soon in a battle of wits and courage.

It seems The Lady of Spring is trapped in an underground prison and it is up to these four eight graders to try and release her or winter will never end. Than balance of nature will be forever changed.

A fast moving 41 chapters make for a plot best for grades 6-8th. Most of the chapters end in an enticing cliffhanger. It’s also a study of climate change and myths with the appealing foursome in the middle of it all.

BOOK BIRTHDAY: April 5, 2022 PAGE COUNT: 320


  1. It’s hard enough to give a single character a voice but here you get four strong ones.
  2. Aunt Kit with her cooking classes and kind nature to the group provided an adult character you also care about.
  3. The memories of the four protagonists was a plot point bonus. Middle school kids can be forgetful but here the magic makes it even worse.
  4. The concept of global warming was seamlessly woven into the plot and not in a preachy way. Mr. Ross, the science teacher is a true teaching gem.
  5. The ending hints at a sequel. Hopefully it won’t take another 9 years to see one!


Amy Herrick grew up in Queens, New York, and attended SUNY Binghamton and the University of Iowa. She lives in Brooklyn, where she has raised two sons, taught pre-K and grade school, written books, and kept company with her husband and numerous pets. A retired teacher, she loves traveling, learning Spanish, and above all reducing her carbon footprint.

(For more about Amy visit her author website)

Be sure to visit all of the other Marvelous Middle Grade Posts!

Comments are welcome below.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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9 Responses to THE TILTERSMITH

  1. It’s hard to write multiple main characters, and it’s great to hear the author does it so well. I love magic in stories too! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pingback: MMGM for September 19, 2022 | Always in the Middle…

  3. Brenda says:

    Sounds like an interesting premise. Happy MMGM. Have a lovely week.

  4. carolbaldwin says:

    Sounds like a great book. Nice review!

  5. I like stories about kids involved in climate change issues. It is their future. This sounds like a great read with some well-developed characters. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This sounds like a timely story and a well-written one. Thanks for telling me about it. I will try to check it out.

  7. As an upstater, I particularly liked this: “Brooklyn, New York is a perfect backdrop for a Spring that can’t escape from Winter’s grip.” I feel that way about our little village in central-western NY as well, no magic involved. This looks like one I need to put on my list.

  8. Andrea Mack says:

    I’m intrigued! I agree that it’s sometimes hard to find MG stories that work well with multiple man characters. Thanks for the heads up!

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