The Blue Shoe: A Tale of Thievery, Villainy, Sorcery, and Shoes (Paperback)

A Tale of Thievery, Villainy, Sorcery, and Shoes

By Roderick Townley, Mary GrandPre (Illustrator)

Yearling Books, 9780375847417, 255pp.

Publication Date: February 8, 2011



Far away, in a remote mountain village, there is a cobbler's shop. And in the window there sits a shoe. Not just any shoe, but a jewel-encrusted blue shoe. When the shoe's largest jewel goes missing, the cobbler's assistant, Hap, is blamed and banished to the dreaded Mount Xexnax. Legend has it that no one has ever returned from Xexnax, but Hap Barlow isn't just anyone, and legend is about to be rewritten.

Perfect for middle graders, The Blue Shoe has the feel of a modern classic. You'll read the first page and grin, and then chortle, and then heave a happy sigh as you settle in for what will clearly be a great yarn. Told with a bit of a wink, this quirky gem is full of heart, and utterly winning.

About the Author

RODERICK TOWNLEY has taught in Chile on a Fulbright Fellowship, worked in New York as a journalist, and now writes from his home in Kansas. His books have received many stars and accolades, including BookSense 76 picks and BBYA selections. You can read more about Roderick Townley and his books at

MARY GRANDPRE is perhaps best known for creating the jackets and illustrations for the Harry Potter books. She has also illustrated many fine picture books including Jack Prelutsky's "The Carnival of the Animals" on Knopf's Fall 2010 list. You can read more about Mary GrandPre's work at"