It lay about three inches down in the soil, near a plot of Shasta daisies that were blooming thickly, despite being choked with grass.
“Exactly the same,” Nellie said, triumphantly, holding it up. She rubbed off some of the dirt so the bright blue of the china shone out.
“Where are these coming from!” Olivia exclaimed, taking the mysterious, tulip-shaped cup from Nellie and examining it closely. “There is no reason I can think of why these cups should be here, turning up after all this time. Do you think Ellis Bellwether buried them himself?”
“No, he couldn't,” Nellie said.
“How do you know?”
“Because of the story, Livy. It was the Green-Skin Fairies who did it, to stop the lost children from being found. Now we're the ones who have to help them. We need all the cups for the countercharm to work....”
Nellie, 5, is too little to understand that fairy stories in books, even very old fairy stories, cannot come true. Her sister, Olivia, who is 9, understands very well. And yet, the author Ellis Bellwether's eerie tale called "The Lost Flower Children", which the sisters found in a bookcase in Great Aunt Minty's old house, does seem to be waking up and coming off the page. Real things are happening that are foretold in the book, and the lost children in the story, who were transformed by evil fairies into flowers, seem suddenly very close by. Olivia isn't sure anymore what is real and what isn't. As for Aunt Minty's garden, it's beginning to feel stranger and stranger.
Awards and Honors
ALA Notable Children's Book, 2000cup
School Library Journal Best Book
Junior Library Guild selection
New York Public Library selection, 1999
Scholastic Book Club selection