West of the Moon

West of the Moon

Book - 2014
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In nineteenth-century Norway, fourteen-year-old Astri, whose aunt has sold her to a mean goatherder, dreams of joining her father in America.
Publisher: New York : Amulet Books, [2014]
ISBN: 9781419708961
1419708961
Characteristics: 213 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Study Program: Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.2 7.0 165209.

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Ms_Gaye Oct 21, 2014

Fabulous storytelling. Astri, a Norwegian girl, faces a variety of challenges that incorporate elements from several folktales. The illustrations and design of the book add richness to the tale. Addenda at the end includes notes about the book's beginnings, various facts, folktale references, and snippets from an ancestor's diary - plus a glossary and bibliography!

Inspired by folktales, a clever girl saves herself and her sister from a desperate situation, but struggles with the decisions she makes and the actions she takes. Is she a heroine? You decide.

CoreneBee Aug 08, 2014

Challenging, thought-provoking and ultimately beautiful book about the power of stories and forgiveness.

LibrarianDest Aug 04, 2014

A fascinating, challenging read for young fans of dark fairy tales.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 04, 2014

This book is about grace and forgiveness. It’s about how even victims (or maybe especially victims) are capable of terrible terrible things. It’s about making amends with the world and finding a way to forgive yourself and to move on. Astri is not a saintly character. She steals and tricks good people for her own reasons and she leaves it to the reader to decide if she is worth forgiving. This is an ideal book discussion title, particularly when you weave in a discussion of the folktales, the notion of stories vs. lies, and the real world history. It’s not an easy book and it requires a little something extra on the part of the reader, but for those kids that demand a bit of a challenge and a book that’ll make ‘em stop and think for half a moment, you can’t do better. Remarkable.

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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 04, 2014

“Is it a worse sin to lie to my sweet sister than to steal from a cruel master?”

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 04, 2014

“I’ve stolen the gold and hacked off the fingers and snitched the soap and swiped the wedding food. I’ve lied to my own little sister and left Spinning Girl behind, and now I’m stealing the horse, saddle, and bridle from the farm boy who never did anything wrong except display a bit of greed.”

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 04, 2014

“Now I know how much I’m worth: not as much as Jesus, who I’m told was sold for thirty pieces of silver. I am worth two silver coins and a haunch of goat.”

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LibrarianDest Aug 04, 2014

LibrarianDest thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 04, 2014

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 04, 2014

“Now I know how much I’m worth: not as much as Jesus, who I’m told was sold for thirty pieces of silver. I am worth two silver coins and a haunch of goat.” That’s Astri, discussing the fact that her aunt and uncle have just essentially sold her to Svaalberd, the local goat herder. Though she is loathe to go, she knows that she has little choice in the matter, and must leave her little sister behind with her foul relatives. Svaalberd turns out to be even fouler, however, and as she plans her escape Astri hits up on the idea of leaving Norway and going to America. With time and opportunity she makes good her plans, taking little sister Greta with her, protecting the both of them, and making difficult choices every step of the way.

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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 04, 2014

Violence: Just FYI that there is an attempted rape in the book. It's thwarted but it's certainly still there. Kids won't necessarily understand what's going on but adults will.

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