Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kernel's Library: Through the Eyes of Rumplestiltskin

The Witch's Boy by Michael Gruber Book 00055: The Witch's Boy by Michael Gruber

- The Witch's Boy

First Publication:
- March 2005 by HarperCollins

- 2006 ALA Notable Children’s Book
- ALA Best of the Best Books for Young Adults

I always like it when I see an author whose books are showcased in my favorite bookstore for the first time. Meaning, there's another kind of story to be read -- with its own taste, style, texture and imagery. Michael Gruber was already writing books for quite a long time, but it was the first time that I saw a copy of his book in my favorite bookstore.

I was intrigued to buy his book because the author himself is still a mystery to me: would I like his book, would his style be the kind I was looking for or would his story live up to my expectations... All of these were answered -- after I read one of his books, The Witch's Boy -- with a resounding "Yes!"


This critically acclaimed tale of a witch and her goblin-child is wholly original, and the legendary characters of old who touch their story -- Cinderella, Rapunzel, Rumplestiltskin -- are made new through Michael Gruber's imaginative lens. Gruber's literary voice is as magical as his imagination. With The Witch's Boy he has created a wondrous journey through the realms of magic.

They call him Lump. Ugly, misshapen -- more goblin than human child -- abandoned as an infant and taken in by a witch, he is nursed by a bear, tutored by a djinn; his only playmates are the creatures of the forest, whose language he learns to speak.

But when Lump inevitably stumbles into the human world, his innocence is no match for the depths of people's cruelty, which turns his heart to stone, and fuels a vengeance that places him and his witch mother in deadly peril. Yet these disasters also send Lump on a journey of self-discovery, to realms deep within the earth and far beyond mortal imagination.

In this stunning fantasy debut, Michael Gruber has created a world that is at once deceptively familiar and stunningly original, a world of cruelty, beauty, legend, truth, and above all, wonder. Readers will delight in the author's ingenious retelling of classic fairy tales and will marvel at the stunning new tale of a boy raised by a witch, a cat, a bear, and a demon.

Visit the author's site.

Grade: A+