Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Thirteen-year-old Astri has a head full of fairy tales, but her life is far from being one itself. Sold off by her aunt to work for a vicious "goatman," Astri bides her time until she can figure out a way to escape the goatman, get her younger sister from her greedy aunt and uncle, and find a way to get to America to join their father. Along the way, she meets a girl who may or may not be a changeling, a brush that may or may not make coins fall out of hair, and what appears to be a troll's treasure. Though her journey is fraught with many perils, the dangers outside are not the only thing Astri needs to fight. Eventually, she has to face the barrier she created around herself and the fairy tales that threaten to take over her reality.

West of the Moon is inspired by the Norwegian folktale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," and also by the author's great-grandparents, who met a young girl on their journey to the United States from Norway. Through lyrical prose, Margi Preus tells a story that is a combination of fairy tale and historical fiction, but most importantly it is a story about a girl who may not always do the right thing, but who always manages to find a way out through her courage and wits.

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