Book Title: North Child (available here)
Author: Edith Pattou
Publication Date: October 2019
Most Suitable For: Year 6+
Reviewed by: Hayley Warner (@MrsHWteach), Assistant Headteacher
North Child is based on the Norwegian fairytale ‘East of the Sun and West of the moon’ and is being reborn this year after its first publishing in 2006 in order to allow the story to captivate a new generation of readers. It is aptly described as a beautiful epic story of destiny, magic and love.
The story features a family with many children, almost one for each compass point with a focus on one daughter called Rose. Rose is different from her siblings, mainly in that she was born facing North. Rose’s mother is extremely superstitious and believes the tales that ‘north’ people are known for wandering, being wild and badly behaved. When one of Rose’s other siblings, Sara, becomes ill, her mother’s belief almost comes to fruition when a white bear comes to the family’s farm. His request is simple: Rose comes with him and her older sister will get better.
From there out, Rose’s adventures begin and these will lead her on the journey of a lifetime with many twists and turns, made even more thrilling by the fact that Troll Queen is watching White Bear’s every move…
The book is lengthy at 476 pages but is cleverly split into five sections: East, South, West, North and East and told from the interwoven viewpoints of multiple characters including Rose, Neddy, the Troll Queen and the White Bear. Each chapter is easy to read and the book flows well. There are lots of pleasing nods to Norway throughout this book, one of which is the reference to the Norwegian language, which is used throughout.
I would recommend this wintery tale for the year 6 classroom and especially for children who enjoy reading about adventure, quests, magic and friendship.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Hayley for reviewing it.
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