National Book Award Longlist * Bank Street Children's Book Committee Best Book of the Year
"Beautifully written and elegantly structured, this fantasy is as real as it gets."A??Franny Billingsley, author of Chime
The 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 in the forest. Oscar has long been content to stay in his small room in the cellar, comforted in the knowledge that the magic that flows from the forest will keep his island safe. Now even magic may not be enough to save it.
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by Daniel Kirk
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"Oscar is content being the assistant of the only magician left in his city, Master Caleb. Oscar spends his time either in the wizardÕs garden, collecting plants, or in the shopÕs basement, preparing ingredients with only cats for company. Chris Sorensen executes OscarÕs paralyzing social anxiety with his intonationÑhe transforms OscarÕs wooden responses into questions, as if heÕs unsure whether each answer is correct. Sorensen gives Oscar a soft and loving tone as he interacts with the cats and makes Master Caleb sound brisk and authoritative. When Master Caleb and his apprentice leave the city, Oscar and Callie, the healerÕs apprentice, are challenged to deal with a contagious illness and a ravaging monster. M.F.T. © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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