- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 5 - 9
- Lexile Measure: 1010L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (October 9, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1423135008
- ISBN-13: 978-1423135005
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,568,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Jepp, Who Defied the Stars Hardcover – October 9, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Is our fate predetermined, or do we make our own fortune (or misfortune) through our actions and decisions? Marsh ponders this age-old question through the eyes of an extraordinary hero. When Jepp, a fatherless dwarf, joins the court of the Spanish Infanta, he's not prepared for the daily humiliations that become his life. He also doesn't expect to fall in love with a fellow performer, melancholy but lovely Lia. When she is raped, Jepp attempts to help her and her unborn child escape-with tragic results. As punishment for his insubordination, Jepp becomes dinnertime entertainment for the eccentric Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. Inspired by friendship with Brahe's daughter, Magdalene, Jepp reveals his educated mind and is welcomed into the astronomer's close-knit circle of scholars. He even finds true love. But before Jepp can embrace this promising new future, he must embark on a journey of self-discovery to resolve his past. Marsh crafts a beautifully poignant coming-of-age tale of struggle, tragedy, and, finally, of triumph. Jepp's indomitable spirit is truly inspiring, and it is this rare quality that makes his character so memorable. The universal moral of self-acceptance is communicated skillfully. This shining gem is a must-have.-Alissa J. Bach, Oxford Public Library, MIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Living in the sixteenth century, Jepp is a 15-year-old dwarf who has never known his father. Taken from his humble home to live at court in Brussels, he enjoys the comforts and education available to him there, but he chafes at his lack of freedom and the indignity of his position as a performer. After his attempt to help a young woman ends disastrously, he is sent away to the castle of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. There he falls in love, but lingering questions about his paternity lead Jepp back to his homeland, where he finds further adventures and, eventually, answers. The book’s title refers to the ongoing question of whether people are ruled by their destinies as foretold by the stars. The novel shows a good deal of research into the period as well as Brahe’s life. Divided into three distinct parts, the story sprawls a bit and its pace is uneven, but the scenes are deftly written. Readers taken with the main character will want to read on and discover his fate. Grades 8-10. --Carolyn Phelan
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Top customer reviews
I found Jepp fairly likable - a mix of annoying, obstinate, determined and hopefully (rightfully suited to a teenage boy in his circumstances). It did take me a while to get through the book though. I felt the pace was clunky at first, then sped up towards the middle, then slowed down again and then, in a rush, everything happened to quickly wrap up the book. I think the pace was the biggest drawback.
Most of the characters surrounding Jepp were just as colorful and varied, and I especially love the world created around astronomer, Tycho. Based on Marsh's description of his castle - it's a place I'd love to visit.
I may be holding on to this book more because of the fact that it has blue ink than for it's creative merits - however, I'm still glad I read the book and I recommended it - a solid read for young adults or fans of YA fiction.
Here Jepp is a teenage boy. It was around 200 pages or so before the subject's sexuality entered the story in a physical way--mostly it remains within the confines of very innocent and knightly love for various females--but at one point he admits to tingling in his genitals and before he can 'take care of it' or some similar phrase, someone arrives to speak with him. The reference to sexual arousal and masturbation is appropriate considering Jepp's age, but it is normally not approached in literature. Being a physician, I prefer an open and realistic approach to these things, so I was pleased rather than annoyed to see those references included in the story.
Overall a worthwhile read.
It's a great gift, very suitable for a teenaged reader!
It is a fantastic and engrossing tale of a young man trying to find his place in the world.
I cried when the moose died. Seriously.
Most recent customer reviews
I don't need to reiterate the plot. You'll find that in other reviews.Read more