THE BLUE SHOE by Roderick Townley


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 12


In a story that begins like a fairy tale but ends with explosions, gunfire and villains dissolving into green goo, readers will plumb the depths of both a mighty mountain and the human heart. An affable, audience-addressing narrator recounts how a tall stranger comes to the village of Aplanap and commissions a single, blue gem-encrusted shoe from cobbler Grel. Magic is clearly at play, for when Grel’s charming apprentice, 13-year-old Hap Barlo, steals one of the blue stones off the magnificent shoe to help a beggar, the shoe loses its luster. Not only that, the noble thief is exiled to the dreaded mines of Mount Xexnax, home to the enslaved, blue-skinned Aukis who do hard labor for greedy humans who covet the Great Blue, a giant diamond sacred to the Aukis. Fortunately, Hap has the determined, brave, ringleted and smitten Sophia Hartpence in his camp! Themes of racial prejudice, slavery, revolution and environmentalism swirl through this sometimes dark but ultimately cheerful adventure, illustrated by GrandPré in arresting charcoals and printed in blue ink. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-85600-6
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2009


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