Of Giants and Ice (Hardcover)

By Shelby Bach

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781442431461, 346pp.

Publication Date: July 24, 2012

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Description

When Rory realizes fairy tales are the real deal at Ever After School, she embarks on a classic quest to fulfill her destiny.

Rory Landon has spent her whole life being known as the daughter of a famous movie star mom and director dad. So when she begins a new after-school program and no one knows who her family is, Rory realizes something is different. And after she ends up fighting a fire-breathing dragon on her first day, she realizes the situation is more unusual than she could have imagined. It turns out the only fame that matters at Ever After School is the kind of fame earned from stories Rory thought were fictional. But as Rory soon learns, fairy tales are very real--and she is destined to star in one of her own.
This first installment of The Ever Afters series reimagines classic fairy tale characters in a modern context, merging familiar fantasy with the everyday realities of middle-grade existence.


About the Author

Shelby Bach grew up reading every book she could find and writing stories in battered notebooks. She also rarely came home with a clean shirt and had a lot of accidents that ended with a hunt for Band-Aids. Nowadays, she writes on her laptop rather than in a notebook, but not much else has changed. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Praise For Of Giants and Ice

On an expedition to steal a giant’s coins, hen and harp, Rory Landon discovers that she is destined for a special role in fairy-tale history.

Only child of divorced celebrities, Rory is not your ordinary sixth-grader. She’s had plenty of experience with after-school programs in the many different places she’s lived. Nor is Ever After School your ordinary day care center. The children and grandchildren of fairy-tale characters, EASers are Characters-in-training, likely to be part of each other’s tales and certain to be sent on one or more quests of their own. Here, for the first time in years, Rory makes friends who don’t care about her famous parents. Here, she fights a dragon, with a real sword. And when her friend Lena’s first tale turns out to require beanstalk-climbing, Rory’s thrilled to be one of her Companions, even though she’s afraid of heights and even though her least favorite person, Chase Turnleaf, is coming along. Their accidental visit to the Snow Queen in her Glass Mountain prison changes their relationship and sets the stage for a promised sequel. Rory recalls her adventures in a first-person chronological narration that includes plenty of dialogue.

This fast-paced combination of middle school realism and fairy-tale fantasy will appeal particularly to imaginative readers already familiar with traditional tales. (Fantasy. 9-13)



When sixth-grader Rory attends Ever After School, she can finally stop “acting like a side character” in the lives of her famous movie-actress mother and director father. EAS, it turns out, is not a run-of-the-mill after-school program but a place filled with magic–dragons, talking fawns, and tables with never-ending food–and her new acquaintances are “characters-in-training” who, under the guidance of fairy-tale heavyweights (e.g., Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Rumplestiltskin), go off to fight giants, dragons, and the evil Snow Queen. When Rory’s friend Lena chooses her and Chase (Rory’s nemesis) to accompany her up the beanstalk to steal the giant’s gold, they have no idea of the dangers they’ll face or the demands the tale will impose. From getting trapped in a locked rolltop desk to fighting off wolves inside a glass mountain, the threesome meet every challenge head-on, narrowly escaping being captured (or eaten!), and returning triumphant, if a bit battle-scarred. Rory realizes that, even with her transient life, she’ll remain part of EAS and be ready someday to vanquish the Snow Queen in a fairy tale that is uniquely hers. Readers will delight in fast-paced, detail-rich chapters. There’s plenty of magic to intrigue Harry Potter fans and enough twists and turns to entice even reluctant readers. The relationships among the three strong protagonists develop believably, and the secondary characters have enough dimension to maintain interest. This debut novel is a light, fun look at fairy tales after the “happily ever after.”–Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI



First-time author Bach offers a fresh take on the whole fairy-tales-made-real theme. Rory Landon, known best for her Hollywood parents, finds herself at the Ever After School. At first she assumes the school is a role-playing game gone overboard, but eventually she accepts the truth: magic is real and each student is a Character destined to star in a variation of a Tale. To Rory’s discomfort, she finds that she is well-known for her own sake, not for her parents—and she doesn’t understand why the evil Snow Queen is talking about her. When Rory’s new friend, Lena, starts her own Tale, a variation of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” she chooses Rory to help, and secrets are revealed. The pace picks up at this point, with giants, baby dragons, and the Snow Queen in her Glass Mountain prison. While the story lags occasionally, particularly the overly long denouement, the book succeeds overall. Full of action, humor, realistic school dynamics, and plenty of opportunity for future books, this one should be popular. Pair with Marissa Burt’s Storybound (2012).





First-time author Bach offers a fresh take on the whole fairy-tales-made-real theme. Rory Landon, known best for her Hollywood parents, finds herself at the Ever After School. At first she assumes the school is a role-playing game gone overboard, but eventually she accepts the truth: magic is real and each student is a Character destined to star in a variation of a Tale. To Rory’s discomfort, she finds that she is well-known for her own sake, not for her parents—and she doesn’t understand why the evil Snow Queen is talking about her. When Rory’s new friend, Lena, starts her own Tale, a variation of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” she chooses Rory to help, and secrets are revealed. The pace picks up at this point, with giants, baby dragons, and the Snow Queen in her Glass Mountain prison. While the story lags occasionally, particularly the overly long denouement, the book succeeds overall. Full of action, humor, realistic school dynamics, and plenty of opportunity for future books, this one should be popular. Pair with Marissa Burt’s Storybound (2012).





First-time author Bach offers a fresh take on the whole fairy-tales-made-real theme. Rory Landon, known best for her Hollywood parents, finds herself at the Ever After School. At first she assumes the school is a role-playing game gone overboard, but eventually she accepts the truth: magic is real and each student is a Character destined to star in a variation of a Tale. To Rory’s discomfort, she finds that she is well-known for her own sake, not for her parents—and she doesn’t understand why the evil Snow Queen is talking about her. When Rory’s new friend, Lena, starts her own Tale, a variation of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” she chooses Rory to help, and secrets are revealed. The pace picks up at this point, with giants, baby dragons, and the Snow Queen in her Glass Mountain prison. While the story lags occasionally, particularly the overly long denouement, the book succeeds overall. Full of action, humor, realistic school dynamics, and plenty of opportunity for future books, this one should be popular. Pair with Marissa Burt’s Storybound (2012).

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