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- ISBN: 9780062049254 (electronic bk)
- Publisher: 2013.
|Summary, etc.:||National Book Award Longlist2014 Bank Street Children's Book Committee Best Book of the Year"Beautifully written and elegantly structured, this fantasy is as real as it gets."—Franny Billingsley, author of ChimeThe Real Boy, Anne Ursu's follow-up to her widely acclaimed and beloved middle grade fantasy Breadcrumbs, is a spellbinding tale of the power we all wield, great and small.On an island on the edge of an immense sea there is a city, a forest, and a boy named Oscar. Oscar is a shop boy for the most powerful magician in the village, and spends his days in a small room in the dark cellar of his master's shop grinding herbs and dreaming of the wizards who once lived on the island generations ago. Oscar's world is small, but he likes it that way. The real world is vast, strange, and unpredictable. And Oscar does not quite fit in it.But now that world is changing. Children in the city are falling ill, and something sinister lurks...|
|Target Audience Note:||
MG/Middle grades (4th-8th)
730L Lexile Level
4.9 ATOS Level
Electronic reproduction. New York : Walden Pond Press, 2013. Requires Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 838 KB) or Amazon Kindle (file size: N/A KB) or OverDrive Read (file size: N/A KB).
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- School Library Journal Reviews : SLJ Reviews 2013 November
Gr 4â7âThe island of Aletheia boasts as its crown jewel the city of Asteri, powered by the lingering magic of ancient wizards. Nowadays there is only one, mildly magical magician, Caleb, and his lowly assistant, Oscar, to provide magical solutions for Asteri's demanding residents. People, social situations, and breaks in routine discomfit the orphaned Oscar in ways reminiscent of autistic spectrum children. He prefers to gather plants from the forest and converse with Caleb's cats. Circumstances force Oscar to depart from routine when Asteri's magic goes awry. Oscar teams up with Callie, the healer's apprentice, to cure the ailments and repair the broken magic that threatens Aletheia. In the process, Oscar discovers Caleb's illicit use of magic, questioning his own origins and purpose. This is a tale replete with memorable settings and weighty issues. Readers will dog Oscar's footsteps, wondering as he does, when magic moves from being a gift to becoming a crutch. His friendship with Callie serves as a bridge between him and the larger community, and it often puzzles him. Ursu subtly proves that Oscar and Callie have a mutually beneficial relationship that gives both needed insight and support. As the novel concludes, the dense plotlines pull in as tight as they can, but there are still unanswered questions and a rather quick ending. Still, Oscar's tremendous heart fills every nook of this richly told story. His heroic stumbles will fondly remind readers of Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted (HarperCollins, 1997) and Meg from Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.âCaitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT[Page 106]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.