A Comb of Wishes

Product Details
$16.99  $15.80
Quill Tree Books
Publish Date
5.6 X 8.4 X 1.1 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author

Lisa Stringfellow is the author of A Comb of Wishes, which Newbery Award-winning author Kelly Barnhill called "one of the most promising works of fiction in a long time." Lisa writes for her twelve-year-old self, the kid waiting to be the brown-skinned hero of an adventure, off saving the world. Lisa's work often reflects her West Indian and Black southern heritage. She is a middle school teacher and lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with her children and two bossy cats.


"Imbued with a magic that felt as real as the concrete and beloved world in which it is set, this story moves with a plot that is both surefooted and wild, both inexorable and surprising, both cerebral and emotional. I loved it so much." -- Kelly Barnhill, author of the Newbery-winning novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon

"Captivating and creative, magical and moving, this enchanting tale about grief and abiding love will hold you spellbound. What a joy and honor to welcome this brilliant new voice, as beautiful as the ocean and as bright as a mermaid's tears." -- Padma Venkatraman, Walter Award winning author of The Bridge Home

"Stringfellow weaves an enchanting tale of loss, longing, and discovery infused with Caribbean folklore. Readers will be captivated by Kela's story and become invested in her journey as she tries to deal with the grief of losing her mother as well as regret for her past actions." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Kela's primary narration allows for a harmonious blend of contemporary island life and Afro-Caribbean lore, while chapters focusing on Ophidia draw on elements of Andersen's "The Little Mermaid." The third-person narration of the interspersed sections echoes a rhythmic traditional call-and-response that links the teller and the listener." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Stringfellow's middle-grade debut is a wondrous and original story that incorporates Caribbean culture and folklore. Told in alternating points of views between Kela and Ophidia, the novel leads us through a story about family that spans hundreds of years and will captivate readers until the end." -- Booklist

"A unique blend of Caribbean folklore and realistic grief with a vindictive mermaid twist. Hand to fans of mermaid tales, general fantasy lovers, and readers -seeking a rare gem in the genre." -- School Library Journal

"The story is imbued with magic, but Stringfellow's powerful writing makes the fantastical feel like reality. Through narrative perspectives centering both Kela and Ophidia, the author recalls the call-and-response structure prevalent in Black storytelling traditions. Fans of Baptiste's The Jumbies and Rhodes's Bayou Magic will enjoy spending time with Kela as she navigates a journey filled with grief, love, loss, and discovery." -- Horn Book Magazine

"Stringfellow brings a fantastical approach to one character's processing of grief as, with the support of secondary characters, Kela begins to truly navigate her pain while unearthing the stories and lore that are her heritage." -- Publishers Weekly