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Title: The Ogress and the Orphans
Author: Kelly Barnhill
Published: 8th of March 2022 – Algonquin Young Readers
Format: Digital (eARC) – 400 pages
Hello Hello! How are you?
Today I’m bringing you a quick little first impressions post for the Blog Tour organised by Algonquin Young Readers for The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill. I am about 30% into this book and LOVING it so far, but I’ve just been so busy lately with university assignments to have the time to finish it for my spot on the tour. I will get a review up for it as soon as I can though!
Thank you to Kelly and the team at Algonquin Young Readers for having me on this tour, it is always a pleasure. And thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
A fantasy about the power of generosity and love, and how a community suffers when they disappear.
Stone-in-the-Glen, once a lovely town, has fallen on hard times. Fires, floods, and other calamities have caused the people to lose their library, their school, their park, and even their neighborliness. The people put their faith in the Mayor, a dazzling fellow who promises he alone can help. After all, he is a famous dragon slayer. (At least, no one has seen a dragon in his presence.) Only the clever children of the Orphan House and the kindly Ogress at the edge of town can see how dire the town’s problems are.
Then one day a child goes missing from the Orphan House. At the Mayor’s suggestion, all eyes turn to the Ogress. The Orphans know this can’t be: the Ogress, along with a flock of excellent crows, secretly delivers gifts to the people of Stone-in-the-Glen.
But how can the Orphans tell the story of the Ogress’s goodness to people who refuse to listen? And how can they make their deluded neighbors see the real villain in their midst?
The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill is a middle-grade fantasy about what it means to be a neighbour. When I got the email in my inbox about this book, I jumped on the chance to participate in the blog tour because The Girl Who Drank the Moon by the same author is one of my all-time favourite books. As soon as I started The Ogress and the Orphans, I could tell that this one would be joining my favourite books as well.
This is already such a stunning book. It is written so well, much like a fairy tale, and I love how the narrator is all the time present with their comments that make me smile every time. Kelly Barnhill has a way with words and I have to say that she is now definitely one of my favourite authors, and therefore an auto-buy author. I just love this book so much already and I still have lots to read, but I am just having the best time ever reading it. It is a very comforting book despite the very important themes that are present, and I really appreciate how beautiful but also important and realistic this can be, even though it is in a fantasy setting. I noticed the same thing with The Girl Who Drank the Moon so I can definitely say that Kelly Barnhill is a MUST-READ author for EVERYONE.
The story is wonderful. There are lots of things going on so far, but the main theme at the centre of this book is “what does it mean to be a neighbour”. I love that this is the main theme because it is very unassuming but also pivotal, especially during the terrible times we are going through. I think it is such an important book to read, for children and for adults, and I can’t wait to finish it so I can give you my full thoughts, but let me tell you, I’m about 99% sure it’s going to be my first 5-star read of 2022, it is THAT good.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – KELLY BARNHILL
Kelly Barnhill is an author and teacher. She won the World Fantasy Award for her novella The Unlicensed Magician, a Parents Choice Gold Award for Iron Hearted Violet, the Charlotte Huck Honor for The Girl Who Drank the Moon, and has been a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, the Andre Norton award, and the PEN/USA literary prize. She was also a McKnight Artist’s Fellowship recipient in Children’s Literature.
She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her three children and husband.
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed reading this post, see you soon, stay safe,