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|Egg & spoon|
Author: Maguire, Gregory
In 1905 czarist Russia, an impoverished country girl Elena and the aristocratic Ekatrina meet and set in motion an escapade that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and the witch Baba Yaga.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: 17.0 Quiz: 168143
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 25.0 Quiz: 64342
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/14)
School Library Journal (07/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/11/14)
The Hornbook (+) (00/09/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2014 Maguire knows witches—look no further than the smash hit Wicked (1995)—and here he sets his sights on Baba Yaga, the child-eating, metal-toothed crone who dwells in a hut carried along on a pair of chicken legs. Privileged, wealthy 11-year-old Cat tumbles out of a train while trying to catch an intricate Fabergé egg, and in a classic case of mistaken identity starving-peasant Elena takes her place. While Elena takes advantage of Cat’s riches (and her myopic aunt), Cat encounters Baba Yaga’s capricious cabin in a snowy glade, and, in an uncharacteristically charitable turn, the witch helps Cat and Elena set everything—including famine-stricken Russia—to rights. Although Cat and Elena’s burgeoning friendship and determination make for a heartening story, it’s Maguire’s Baba Yaga, full of irreverent anachronisms and a salty attitude, who steals the show—sometimes, in fact, overpowering the rest of the story. Maguire’s fantastical world is filled with Russian folklore and history, particularly the growing unrest that eventually led to the October Revolution, and though Cat and Elena’s quest at times feels overstuffed, the whimsical tone and lush setting are still plenty appealing. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Maguire’s got an expansive audience, thanks to his best-selling novels, not to mention the blowout success of the musical version of Wicked. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2014 Gr 7 Up—With one brother conscripted into the Tsar's army and another bound to serve a local landowner, Elena is left alone to care for her widowed and ailing mother in early 20th-century Russia. When an elegant train bearing a noble her age rolls through their barren village, Elena and her counterpart, Cat, accidentally swap places. Twin journeys to restore their former stations in life lead to encounters with murderous kittens, royal families, and even the famed witch Baba Yaga, and the challenges that lie ahead go far beyond a simple mix-up. Maguire marries the traditional "Prince and the Pauper" narrative to the Russian folktale of Baba Yaga with his trademark wit and aplomb. His lyrical descriptions of the drab countryside are equally detailed and moving as the charmed, floating courts of the Romanov dynasty. Each character is well-drawn and fascinating, whether its the prim, terrified governess to young Ekaterina or Baba Yaga herself, a cannibal with a heart of gold constantly cracking wise in her enchanted, walking house. The author weaves a lyrical tale full of magic and promise, yet checkered with the desperation of poverty and the treacherous prospect of a world gone completely awry. Egg and Spoon is a beautiful reminder that fairy tales are at their best when they illuminate the precarious balance between lighthearted childhood and the darkness and danger of adulthood.—Erinn Black Salge, Saint Peter's Prep, Jersey City, NJ - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.