Monday, October 28, 2013


Written by: Donna Jo Napoli

First line: "Mel, hurry up!" Brigid calls, splashing through puddles, heedless of the mud that has come up through the wooden-plank paving of the road.

Why you should read this book: Diverging somewhat from her typical novelization of fairy tales format and magical themes, Napoli creates a nearly whole cloth tale and a wide swath of the ancient world from a snippet of an old Norse saga. In Melkorka's world, slaves are simply unprotected people walking in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the young princess and her little sister, escaping a potential war in their own kingdom, find themselves lost to their homeland and destined for servitude. But Melkorka learns there is great strength in silent beauty, and while she cannot recover what has been lost, she can forge a more hopeful existence for herself once she embraces her own power.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Although it is handled with grace and euphemisms, this young adult novel contains several accounts of rape, with the princess eventually developing affection for her rapist.

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