Let me just start off by saying, I love this book! This is the final novel of the school year for the sixth grade students in my advanced level reading class. It’s part of our combined fantasy/mythology unit since it involves a bit of Norse mythology. The kids really like it, so it’s a fun way to wrap up the school year. Even though the main character is a girl, I’ve found that the boys tend to like it, too.
Author: Edith Pattou
Age group: young adult (but it’s okay for preteens, too)
Synopsis: Rose has always been different from her family members. She’s the youngest in a family of seven children, has violet eyes and dark hair, and loves adventure. When her older sister Sara becomes ill and the family falls on difficult financial times, a talking white bear comes to the house offering to heal Sara if Rose agrees to go away with him. Rose’s father won’t hear of sending his youngest away, but Rose’s extremely superstitious mother believes Rose must accompany the white bear. The white bear gives Rose a week to make up her mind. During that time, she learns that her parents lied to her about her birth (you’ll have to read the book to find out how!). Angry that her parents deceived her, Rose decides at the last minute to head off with the bear. The adventure he takes her on has consequences beyond Rose’s wildest imagination. To tell any more would ruin the story!
I really love this book. It’s a good, clean, old-fashioned sort of fairy tale that beautifully weaves together the narration of several characters. It is a long book (nearly 500 pages) and the changing perspective from chapter to chapter may be a challenge to some younger readers, but its content is perfectly appropriate for a preteen reader. If you know a kid who loves a beautifully told adventure story or epic fantasy, this is a great read. Don’t tell my nieces yet, but I’ll definitely be buying them copies. 🙂