Kelly Barnhill The Ogress and the Orphans


Code 9781800783027
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A new fantasy classic from the Newbery Medal winning and New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Drank The Moon.

Stone-in-the-Glen, once a lovely town, has fallen on hard times. Fires, floods, and other calamities have caused the townsfolk to lose their library, their school, their park, and all sense of what it means to be generous, and kind.

The people put their faith in the Mayor, a dazzling fellow who promises he alone can help. After all, he is a famous dragon slayer. (At least, no one has seen a dragon in his presence.) Only the clever orphans of the Orphan House and the kindly Ogress at the edge of town can see how dire the town's problems are.

When one of the orphans goes missing from the Orphan House, all eyes turn to the Ogress. The orphans, though, know this can't be: the Ogress, along with a flock of excellent crows, secretly delivers gifts to the people of Stone-in-the-Glen. But how can the orphans tell the story of the Ogress's goodness to people who refuse to listen? And how can they make their deluded neighbours see the real villain in their midst?

The orphans have heard a whisper that they will 'save the day', but just how, they will have to find out ...

About the Author

Kelly Barnhill lives in Minnesota with her husband and three children. She is the author of four novels, including The Girl Who Drank the Moon, winner of the Newbery Medal. The Witch's Boy received four starred reviews and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Awards.

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'The story's told from a broadly omniscient perspective through slow, thoughtful pacing. Readers will make connections before the characters do-especially regarding the true nature of the villain-and they are given narrative assurance of a happy ending. This offers young audiences security as they grapple with nuanced, realistic portrayals of people who are neither all good nor all bad. It also gives them space to form their own opinions on the book's philosophical and thematic questions, including the refrain: 'The more you give, the more you have.' . . . Combines realistic empathy with fantastical elements; as exquisite as it is moving.'
- Kirkus, starred review

'The reader is immediately tossed into this fantasy, relying on the narrator to explain how life used to be in the town to counter the grim description of how it is now. The Mayor is a fantastic (though loathsome) villain, oozing charisma and evil in equal measures, and in direct contrast is the ogress, who asks permission of the bees to take their honey and secretly shares her baking gifts with the town. . . the good versus evil purity of the story is effective in highlighting key points about the value of generosity and the perils of division. In a thoughtful and vulnerable author's note, Barnhill mentions she was so disheartened by the past handful of years she was uncertain if she would ever publish a book again. It is fortunate that her tinkering with fairy tales and fables helped open a path to this novel that champions kindness in a very dark world.'
- Bulletin, starred review

'Barnhill's gift for storytelling immediately draws readers into this character-driven tale where dragons lurk, crows prove great friends, and an unusual narrator relays events with a unique perspective. These fairy-tale trappings cloak modern lessons and timeless ideals that readers will do well to take to heart, no matter their age.'
- Booklist, starred review


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