Tumble & Blue is the second book by Cassie Beasley that I picked up at the Mississippi Book Festival this year. To start, I love this beautiful, unique cover, but the story is wonderful too! Beasley’s books are both stories of magic realism – they take place in a very normal world the reader can recognize, but with elements of magic mixed in (like Harry Potter, especially Book 1). The title of this middle grade novel comes from the names of the two main characters who meet in a little town called Murky Branch on the edge of the Okefenokee swamp. Because of some awful ancestors, Tumble and Blue both have a big problem: they’re cursed. Tumble wants to be a hero but always seems to be the one that needs rescuing, and Blue can’t win – anything. But a golden alligator deep in the swamp can change their fates, if only they can find him. Their friendship and their individual family relationships are deep and complex, and Beasley brings the story to life in a very relatable setting. I really loved that she delves into how our choices make us who we are and how good can come from struggle and difficult situations, making us stronger and wiser. This is a wonderful book for children and I so hope Beasley writes another – soon!