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Egg & Spoon

Egg & Spoon

Book - 2014
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An impoverished Russian country girl Elena Rudina and the aristocratic Ekatrina meet and set in motion an escapade that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and the witch Baba Yaga.
Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780763672201
0763672203
Branch Call Number: YA MAGUIRE
Characteristics: 475 pages ; 23 cm
Alternative Title: Egg and spoon

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From Library Staff

An impoverished Russian country girl Elena Rudina and the aristocratic Ekatrina meet and set in motion an escapade that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and the witch Baba Yaga. By the author of Wicked. (Also available as an eBook.)


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Sophia222
Aug 25, 2020

This book tells the story of two girls, a princess and a pauper, if you will. I liked the incorporation of Russian fairy tales into the story and it was an engaging way to relate to the present while telling a story set in the past. I thought the story line was mostly engrossing and I was able to feel like I was in the story. I recommend this book to younger and older teenagers :)

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Maria_Wa
Aug 01, 2020

Egg and Spoon effortlessly combines humour, Russian fairytales, commentary on poverty and a coming-of-age story. Narrated by an imprisoned monk, this book has vivid descriptions, complex characters, and provokes deep reflection on the wealth gap, not only in 18th-century Russia, but in many countries around the world. This book will captivate most readers with its rich country-side setting, many quirky magical characters and its delightfully fantastical plot, although it takes a few chapters to become fully immersed in the story.

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SidheWrites
Aug 08, 2019

This is a retelling of a Russian folktale, featuring Baba Yaga. It took some work on the author's part to stretch it to almost 500 pages, but it is well done. Having said that, I found the story dragged a bit and was quite sleepy until we arrive at Part Three. The ending wasn't what I was expecting (in a good way) and I appreciate the fact that everything wasn't tied up in a pretty bow.

Cynthia_N Jul 22, 2015

Good story but it just did not pull me in.

JCLChrisK Dec 01, 2014

I quite enjoyed the story at the heart of this book and its central characters. As long as the narration was focused on the misadventures of Elena and Ekatarina, with their prince and pauper accidental reversal of roles in tsarist Russia, I found myself swept up in the tale. The secondary characters developed nicely into multi-dimensional people and all the characters experienced interesting growth. I especially enjoyed the way Maguire worked traditional Russian folklore into his story, with the figures of the firebird, the witch, and the ice dragon playing prominent roles.

However, the narrative voice itself did not work for me. I'm sure this is a matter of preference more than writing quality, but immediately from the series of false starts on the first few pages I took a dislike to the monk who narrates the book and his storytelling style. Every time he intruded on the story with his frequent thoughts, comments, and overblown prose, my teeth grated. My one other big gripe that keeps me from rating the book higher is the fact that Baba Yaga's constant anachronistic patter--that makes her seem imbalanced to the other characters and is meant to make her feel timeless and immortal to readers--is entirely composed of 21st-century jokes; were she truly timeless and immortal, her references would have come from all times instead of winkingly at the readers' time and place, so it made her ring false. Nitpicky, I know, but it bothered me.

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