And Then I Read: THE EARTH GIANT by Melvin Burgess

Cover art © Michael Chesworth.

Published in 1995, this fantasy novel has some fine moments and a unique title character. In a great windstorm outside their house, Peter is excited by the danger and damage while his younger sister Amy is fearful. When a loud tearing sound startles them, somehow Amy knows it means an ancient oak tree not far from their house has fallen, and it contains a secret she must investigate on her own. When she finally has a chance, she finds something amazing in the root ball under the fallen tree, a huge, strange giantess who seems to be sleeping. Soon the giantess wakes, and Amy finds she can communicate with her mentally, but not using words exactly, more like pictures and emotions. When Peter discovers the secret visits Amy and the Giant have been having, with the Giant taking Amy  on her shoulders around the area, he is jealous, but soon joins in the secret. The Giant needs a safe place to hide. She is waiting for some kind of rescue that will be coming soon. The children find an abandoned theater she can hide in, and begin to try to understand who she is and where she comes from. Can she be a prehistoric human of some kind? Her dog-like face and very long limbs suggest not. Then where did she come from, and how did she survive for so long beneath the tree? These are some of the questions that they try to answer, and when Peter threatens to expose the secret, the Giant and Amy run away together, causing even more trouble.

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