The Real Boy (Hardcover)
Walden Pond Press, 9780062015075, 352pp.
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
National Book Award Longlist * Bank Street Children's Book Committee Best Book of the Year
"Beautifully written and elegantly structured, this fantasy is as real as it gets."—Franny Billingsley, author of Chime
The Real Boy, Anne Ursu's follow-up to her widely acclaimed and beloved middle grade fantasy Breadcrumbs, is a spellbinding tale of the power we all wield, great and small.
On an island on the edge of an immense sea there is a city, a forest, and a boy named Oscar. Oscar is a shop boy for the most powerful magician in the village, and spends his days in a small room in the dark cellar of his master's shop grinding herbs and dreaming of the wizards who once lived on the island generations ago. Oscar's world is small, but he likes it that way. The real world is vast, strange, and unpredictable. And Oscar does not quite fit in it.
But now that world is changing. Children in the city are falling ill, and something sinister lurks in the forest. Oscar has long been content to stay in his small room in the cellar, comforted in the knowledge that the magic that flows from the forest will keep his island safe. Now even magic may not be enough to save it.
Praise For The Real Boy…
“It’s all highly rewarding and involving, with a tight plot, resonant themes, a gripping adventure, a clearly limned fantasy landscape, and a sympathetic main character.”
“Deeply moving, with language powerful and true as a child’s voice. Grade: A.”
“Wholly unexpected with plot twists and turns you won’t see coming, no matter how hard you squint, Ursu’s is a book worth nabbing for your own sweet self. Grab that puppy up.”
“There is such richness to this tale about a world seemingly falling apart. All of the fairy tale allusions. But in the end, The Real Boy is such a compelling fantasy story because of the two children who, amidst the chaos of their world, can help each other so much.”
“Anne Ursu keeps readers turning the pages until the unexpected but satisfying ending of the story…. I believe this book will be around for a long, long time.”
“Anne Ursu’s The Real Boy is a fantasy in the truest, deepest sense: it illuminates the human experience by giving substance and shape to that which is otherwise intangible. Beautifully written and elegantly structured, this fantasy is as real as it gets.”
“Anne Ursu has created a brilliant fantasy, alive with the smells and sights and sounds of a place both familiar and strange - but the true magic of The Real Boy lies in the powerful friendship that grows between Callie and Oscar. A joy to read.”
“The Real Boy is an engaging fable about what happens when people reject real life in favor of pleasure, of magic. I enjoyed it very much.”