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The Witch's Boy by [Barnhill, Kelly]
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The Witch's Boy Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Length: 385 pages Word Wise: Enabled Audible Narration:
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Age Level: 9 - 14 Grade Level: 4 and up

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–6—When Ned was young, he and his twin brother built a raft and tried to sail to the sea. The raft sank, and one boy survived-the wrong boy, if you ask the villagers in Ned's tiny town. Alternately whispered about, teased, and outright ignored, Ned survives his brother's death with a stutter and an air of palpable sadness that seems to weigh down his weak frame. Meanwhile, in the middle of a formidable forest the villagers claim used to be home to nine stone giants, a young girl named Aine lives a fractured life with her father, who leads a horde of bloodthirsty bandits. When the raiders attempt to steal the magic Ned's mother guards so faithfully, Ned and Aine end up as unlikely allies on a journey to right an ancient wrong. Careful, confident Aine; whose skills, both domestic and wild, make her a formidable ally (and excellent heroine), is a studied contrast to the weaker, shy Ned. The boy's growing confidence and ability to wield and protect his mother's magic adds elements of a classic origin-quest tale to a story that's already brimming with a well-drawn, colorful supporting cast, a strong sense of place, and an enchanted forest with a personality to rival some of the best depictions of magical woods.—Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla, Darien Library, CT

Review

“In a story of an unexpected hero, a thief’s daughter, and some very tricky magic, Barnhill weaves a powerful narrative . . . Barnhill elegantly joins the story’s diverse threads in a complex tale whose poignancy never turns sentimental.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Careful, confident Aine; whose skills, both domestic and wild, make her a formidable ally (and excellent heroine), is a studied contrast to the weaker, shy Ned. The boy’s growing confidence and ability to wield and protect his mother’s magic adds elements of a classic origin-quest tale to a story that’s already brimming with a well-drawn, colorful supporting cast, a strong sense of place, and an enchanted forest with a personality to rival some of the best depictions of magical woods.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“Barnhill skillfully interweaves the stories of Ned, Áine, Sister Witch and the stones, along with an intriguing group of secondary characters. The third-person narration switches perspective smoothly, and it’s all related in a precise, flowing prose that easily places readers into the fantastic setting and catches them up in the story. The classic fantasy elements are all there, richly reimagined, with a vivid setting, a page-turning adventure of a plot, and compelling, timeless themes.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Warring nations, mysterious stone figures, and the running thread that magic is alive and dangerous all add to the gripping core narrative of two children who find wells of strength and ingenuity from being pushed out of their comfort zones. The setting is exceptional: lush descriptions are flawlessly integrated, conveying a deep understanding of the natural world and the people, flawed and complex, who populate it . . . Offer this to Gaiman and Wynne-Jones fans, and to realistic fiction buffs who are open to brilliant coming-of-age stories sharing space with touches of magic.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

“Barnhill . . . is an eloquent writer who spins beautiful lines . . . This spellbinding fantasy begs for a cozy chair, a stash of Halloween candy and several hours of uninterrupted reading time.” —The Washington Post

“A story with many alluring elements . . . Barnhill creates an absorbing world of kingdoms and prophecies in which transformation comes through language, and through courage and self-awareness as well . . . [The Witch’s Boy] should open young readers’ eyes to something that is all around them in the very world we live in: the magic of words.” —NewYorkTimes.com

“Barnhill tells a complex story, one that sustains and subverts the usual fairy-tale tropes. Through the eyes of the brave and increasingly shrewd Ned and Áine, young readers consider the complications of magic, the corrupting desire for power, and the conflicting natures of good and evil in this atmospheric and elegantly told literary fairy tale.” —The Horn Book Magazine

“The characters are vivid and well developed . . . The writing is beautiful and lyrical, but keeps pace with an action-packed story . . . Recommend this title to those who like retellings and strong, narrative fantasy.” —VOYA

“Kelly Barnhill is deft at crafting strong characters, and this classic fairy tale is filled with otherworldly beasties and plenty of magic.” San Antonio Express-News

“In [this] gorgeously written and fast-paced adventure through forest and flood, bandits and courtiers, wolves and queens and witches, the boy and the girl must stop a war, restore magic to its rightful place, and find their own places in a world they’ve helped to make bigger. Barnhill is a fantasist on the order of Neil Gaiman, and this story feels fully inhabited.” Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Fiercely original and uncommonly lovely, The Witch’s Boy is equal parts enchanting and haunting. Kelly Barnhill is master of truly potent and unruly magic; luckily for readers, she chooses to use her powers for good.” —Anne Ursu

Product details

  • File Size: 3385 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers (September 16, 2014)
  • Publication Date: September 16, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ITYVRUG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,489 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

on September 23, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 29, 2014
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
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on June 23, 2015
Format: Hardcover
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