Sunday, December 21, 2014

Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire

Elena lives in a Russian town where everyone is starving.  Elena's mother is sick and dying and both of her older brothers have left to serve the Tsar.  When a fancy train is stuck in their town for a few days everyone hopes their fortunes might have changed and that there might some food for them.  Elena goes to the train every day to talk to Ekaterina, the rich girl on board.  Cat is traveling to St. Petersburg to be presented to the Tsar's nephew as a possible bride.  When the train is finally ready to leave an accident causes the two girls to switch places with Elena on her way to meet the Tsar and Cat left behind where she quickly runs into the witch of Russia, Baba Yaga.

Here is another book with stellar reviews that I didn't care for much at all.  Although I didn't like it personally, I think my biggest objection is the idea that it is something great for middle school.  I don't see it appealing to many teens at all and the humor - especially that of Baba Yaga - is waaaayyyyy beyond middle school what with all the analogies and cultural references.  Too long, too complex.