Blog Tour, Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill ~ Blog Tour

Kelly Barnhill tells stories that stay with readers long after the book has ended. I loved The Girl Who Drank the Moon with its exploration of kindness, strength and positivity so when I was asked to take part in this blog tour for The Ogress and the Orphans, I jumped at the chance.

What is a neighbor?

Is a neighbor simply an accident of place – I am near you, and therefore we are neighbors?

Or is it something else?

The Ogress and the Orphans is the beautiful story of Stone-in-the-Glen, a town that is struggling. Once lovely and full of kindness with all roads leading to the library, people valued consideration, learning and all the things that make life special. Then, an unexplained fire left the library in ruins and the town reeling. Disaster after disaster meant life no longer made sense and their town was just a shadow of what it had once been. Their lovely town was now unlovely and no one knew how to fix it or who to blame.

A new mayor was elected – all glitz and show, he promised good things but was unable to deliver. Year after year, he fed the people fear and lies. Suspicion grew and people no longer knew how to trust each other. Anyone different was unwelcome, anything new was wrong. As time passed, bitterness took over and doors shut.

Meanwhile, a thoughtful ogress moved into an abandoned house at the edge of town. Biding her time, she avoided the townspeople, not wanting to interfere. Generous in nature, she wanted to help her neighbours and make life better for everyone. The trouble was, no one knew how to accept her lovely gestures and despite her kindness, she still was not welcome. A group of kind-hearted orphans living together nearby tried to show the rest of the town what was right but couldn’t do it on their own. Perhaps an unlikely friendship was the answer.

Full of rich description and wise precepts, The Ogress and the Orphans has a feeling of folklore. Each page explores morals and delves into philosophy – tough questions about community, prejudice and generosity. This is a book to be shared and discussed. Who are the heroes? Who is the villain? How can the town become lovely once more? So often, we can see glimpses of Stone-in-the-Glen in our own society. Have we been suspicious of others because of unfounded prejudice? How can we welcome instead of fear and blame? How can we be a good neighbour?

Thank you to Piccadilly Press for this enchanting story. Make sure to follow the rest of the blog tour for more information about this special book.

Click on the cover below to purchase a copy of The Ogress and the Orphans:

Books by Kate Heap:

Contemporary Children’s Literature: Years 3/4

Nonfiction: Years 5/6

Nonfiction: Years 3/4

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