The House With Chicken Legs

The House With Chicken Legs

Book - 2020/02
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All that twelve-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. But that's tough when your grandmother is a Yaga. So when Marinka stumbles across the chance to make a real friend, she breaks all the rules&́#x80;”with devastating consequences.
Publisher: Scholastic Canada 2020/02
ISBN: 9781338209976
Branch Call Number: ON ORDER


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Dec 10, 2018

In The House with Chicken Legs, Sophie Anderson manages the difficult feat of creating a charming magical world that can hold tension with a very real human drama of growing up and being different. Marinka is in a difficult spot; and so is everyone else in the novel. While Marinka is, no doubt, our central character, it is interesting to see how Anderson populates the book with characters who are making do (or not) with their own life situations.

The House with Chicken Legs is a well-written debut, with a charm and weight that make it a rich experience. It’s also an interesting addition to the tales of Baba Yaga; a friendly, sympathetic turn that interrogates human fear. Not unlike the twist in the story that creates that ending, Marinka becomes an intriguing way of thinking about a character in a fairytale, one that doesn’t have to choose one way of existing or another, but a way that is singular to her experiences. It’s like the answer the Yaga asks the dead as they escort them to the Gate, “What do you take with you to the stars?” The answer is always suited to the life who lived it and the stories only they have to tell. The House with Chicken Legs is the story a young Marinka has to tell, you’ll not want to miss it.

Recommended for fairy tale readers and lovers of magic. Because so much of Marinka’s troubles will resonate with real children her age, I think The House with Chicken Legs will go over well with the realist fiction crowd: so if you’ve been despairing that your young reader isn’t getting enough fantasy in their diet, here you go. It also yields a friendly hint of the macabre for the uninitiated. I’d recommend this for those who love intergenerational reads and/or appealing adults in kids lit.

For readers of Jones’ Howls Moving Castle, and Levine’s Ella Enchanted. For fans of the film Coco (2017).

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