Trova il tuo prossimo audiolibro preferito

Abbonati oggi e ascolta gratis per 30 giorni
The Real Boy

The Real Boy

Scritto da Anne Ursu

Narrato da Chris Sorensen


The Real Boy

Scritto da Anne Ursu

Narrato da Chris Sorensen

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (10 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
8 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Sep 24, 2013
ISBN:
9780062303431
Formato:
Audiolibro

Disponibile anche come...

Disponibile anche come libroLibro

Disponibile anche come...

Disponibile anche come libroLibro

Descrizione

On an island on the edge of an immense sea there is a city, a forest, and a boy. The city is called Asteri, a perfect city saved by the magic woven into its walls when a devastating plague swept through the world years before.

The forest is called the Barrow, a vast wood of ancient trees that encircles the city and feeds the Earth with magic. And the boy is called Oscar, a shop boy for the most powerful magician in the Barrow, who spends his days in the dark cellar of his master's shop grinding herbs and dreaming of the wizards who once lived on the island. Oscar's world is small, but he likes it that way. The real world is vast, strange, and unpredictable. And Oscar does not quite fit in it.

But it's been a long time since anyone who could call himself a wizard walked the world, and now that world is changing. Children in the city are falling ill; something sinister lurks in the forest. Oscar has long been content to stay in his small room, comforted in the knowledge that the magic that flows from the trees will keep his island safe. Now, even magic may not be enough to save it.

Anne Ursu has written an unforgettable story of transformation and belonging — a spellbinding tale of the way in which the power we all wield, great and small, lies in the choices we make.

A HarperAudio production.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Sep 24, 2013
ISBN:
9780062303431
Formato:
Audiolibro

Disponibile anche come...

Disponibile anche come libroLibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Anne Ursu is the author of Breadcrumbs, which Kirkus Reviews called a "transforming testament to the power of friendship" in a starred review, and was acclaimed as one of the best books of 2011 by The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Amazon.com, and the Chicago Public Library. It was also on the IndieBound Next List and was an NPR Backseat Book Club featured selection. She was also the recipient of the 2013 McKnight Fellowship Award in Children's Literature. Anne teaches at Hamline University's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Minneapolis with her son and four cats—monster fighters, all.


Correlato a The Real Boy

Audiolibri correlati

Recensioni

Cosa pensano gli utenti di The Real Boy

4.3
10 valutazioni / 12 Recensioni
Cosa ne pensi?
Valutazione: 0 su 5 stelle

Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    I recognize great writing, buy always struggle with fantasy. I really enjoyed the herb, plant and mushroom discussions.i think students will like the violence in the book. Newbery? I don't think so. Honor? Possibly.
  • (4/5)
    I had heard of this book because of its favorable portrayal of an autistic lead character, and in that the book truly does shine. The Real Boy follows a maligned orphan (that great fantasy tradition) working as a hand, a sort of apprentice's apprentice. Oscar has a fantastic memory of herbs, their uses, and the functions of the garden, and rarely interacts with people. He can't meet their eyes or read their mannerisms; his herbs and companion cats--and the rare smuggled book--are his joys in life. But when the master is away and his abusive apprentice is killed, Oscar is forced to run the magic shop, even as the rest of the town begins to fall apart amid mysterious attacks and illnesses.Oscar is an utterly relatable character. As the mom of an autistic son, and someone who has endured intense bullying, I found his plight hard to read at the start. I was relieved as Oscar formed a friendship with Callie, a healer's apprentice, and began to learn social skills to cope with public interactions. Note that the book does deal with some dark issues like death and abuse; it's not a pure-fluff escapist kind of read, but one with genuine depth along with some whimsy.I would have loved the book as a kid. As an adult, I question a number of things about the world-building and the nature of some of the other children (I won't say more--this review is spoiler-free) for the future of their society, but I recommend this nevertheless. We need more books with heroes like Oscar.
  • (4/5)
    Orphaned Oscar works as a hand - a sort of scullery maid / under-apprentice - for the magician Caleb in this engaging, thought-provoking middle-grade fantasy from Anne Ursu. Far from the prying eyes of the residents of Barrow Village, or the Shining People from the City of Asteri, he gathers herbs and other plants from Caleb's gardens in the nearby forest, and prepares them in Caleb's cellar. Oscar likes set routines, and has difficulty interacting with people and interpreting their words and actions, so this quiet life suits him. Then Caleb's apprentice is killed, while Caleb himself is off on the Continent on business, and Oscar finds himself catapulted into an adventure he never imagined and doesn't desire. Something is very wrong on the magical island of Aletheia - something to do with the very magic that sets it apart - and together with the healer's apprentice Callie, Oscar is the only one capable of figuring it all out...I enjoyed so many things about The Real Boy that it's difficult to know where to begin, in enumerating them. Oscar himself is an engaging protagonist, and I thought it was fascinating to see him try to work out what the people around him were really trying to say, and what their actions meant. It's quite rare to see an autistic character in a fantasy, rather than a more realistic story, so I appreciated that as well. The mistake Oscar makes, in trying to uncover who he truly is - his belief that Caleb carved him from wizard-wood, and that is why he is not like other people - was quite poignant. I also really loved Callie, who manages to be a believable, well-rounded character, one who is prickly at times but still sympathetic and goodhearted. The five cats who keep Oscar company throughout - Cat, Bear, Crow, Map and Pebble - also added a lot for me, probably because I do love the felines. In addition to the cast, the story itself was really quite interesting, even if I guessed one or two developments ahead of time. A lot of thorny questions are raised through the story, from what makes a person "real" to the ethical use of magic (or any power, really) in pursing one's desires. The role of history and memory, in shaping our behavior, the power of the past to warp our views, these are all incorporated here, as are the ideas of self-sacrifice and love, and the destructive potential of the natural world, especially when abused. The form the 'monster' takes, toward the end of the book, put me strongly in mind of the fabled Golem of legend, which was also quite fascinating. Finally, in addition to loving the characters, enjoying the story, and appreciating the philosophical depth here, I also found the book really well written. There were numerous sentences and phrases I had to read over again, to savor their insight or beauty. When Oscar refers to the sections of Caleb's library as "well-ordered countries of knowledge," I got a little thrill. When he observed that Callie "covered her meanings in cushions and invited people to settle back into them," I chuckled.In sum: I greatly enjoyed The Real Boy, and thought it was a well-crafted fantasy adventure and thought-provoking exploration of the human condition. Recommended to anyone looking for good middle-grade fantasy!
  • (4/5)
    I loved this book so much in spite of the magic that I know many of our parents would object to. Oscar seems to be a bit on the autistic side. He is blunt and not socially adept, he prefers to just do his job and spend time with his cats rather than actually dealing with people. Unfortunately, when his co-worker is killed and the shop owner is away, he has to learn to deal with the public and enter his friend who teaches him what to say, when to say it, and most importantly that he has a real skill for healing which is more about knowing plants and how to mix them as opposed to any real "magic".When the truth comes out about how the children of the village are not "real" children afterall you feel a few chills running up and down your spine but by the same token the reasoning behind making them is just a little too realistic. Great book!
  • (5/5)
    Heart-warming, Unique, and UnexpectedI LOVED this book. Loved, loved, loved. It helped that Oscar was totally off-kilter, that he couldn't understand the world around him, and that his innocence was endearing. Some stories bring you emotionally along a path but don't quite make the full circle. This was the opposite. It sealed the deal and connected 100%. Magic and fantasy meld perfectly (and evenly) into a journey of self-discovery and awareness. This goes on my top shelf of recommended reads for any age group or audience. Those of you who can't remember what it's like to be a kid, you're in for an expedition through first and new experiences. If you've ever felt out of place in the world, this is the book for you.
  • (4/5)
    THE REAL BOY was a magical story with a wonderful main character. Oscar is an orphan who was taken from his orphanage and installed as magician's hand. He is the one who gathers the herbs and other greenery to make the tinctures, potions, and ingredients that the magician sells. He is content living in his workroom in the basement with only cats for his friends. He loves spending time, when he is supposed to be sleeping, reading the books about plants from his master's library.Oscar doesn't deal well with people. He gets confused because they don't say what they mean and he can't interpret facial expressions at all. When his master goes off to the continent on business and the apprentice is killed in the forest, Oscar is left to mind the shop and deal with customers. Luckily, the Healer's apprentice Callie befriends him and begins to teach him how to deal with people.When the Healer also leaves town, Callie is on her own too. This is so not the time for sickness to come to the children of the Shining City. But the sickness does come and both Callie and Oscar need to scramble and use all their talents to try to heal the children. This book has magic and friendship and tough decisions. And it has two really likable characters in Oscar and Callie. Readers will be glad to get to know them.
  • (5/5)
    Oscar is a magician's servant -- not an apprentice, even, just a hired hand who spends his days tending the gardens, grinding up spell ingredients, and sweeping the floor. His master Caleb is charming and enigmatic; Caleb's apprentice Wolf is a reprehensible bully. But mostly Oscar doesn't mind -- he spends his days in his basement workroom or in the surrounding forest, or with his cats. He understands plants and cats much better than humans. Then one day, while Caleb is out of town, Wolf leaves Oscar in charge of the shop -- a task for which Oscar is ill prepared. Even worse, some unfortunate circumstance befalls Wolf, and Oscar finds himself tending the shop for days on end, waiting for Caleb's return. Callie, a young apprentice Healer, gives Oscar some help, but when Oscar makes an appalling discovery, his task becomes much more daunting than watching the shop for a few days. Something is terribly wrong in the world, and all in Oscar's life is not as it seems. . . .I adored Anne Ursu's Breadcrumbs, and went into The Real Boy with high expectations . . . and The Real Boy lived up to those expectations well. As in Breadcrumbs, Ursu pays homage to fairy tales and classic literature, but she does so with a light touch, and in a way that enhances the story rather than distracting the reader. Oscar and Callie are wonderful characters, Caleb is more complex than he seems at first, and in fact the entire plot is less straightforward than one might expect. There's magic, and a history of magic in Oscar's world that both Oscar and the reader initially accept . . . but that history may not, in fact, be the truth, and so there are many surprising twists and turns as Oscar learns more about the world and about his own history. This is one of the best juvenile fantasies I have read this year.
  • (3/5)
    I had a lot of the same issues with this as I did with Breadcrumbs by the same author. It's well written, it's intelligent, it's willing to address serious issues and does so fairly thoughtfully ... but man, it's a drag. I even liked the characters, but absolutely nothing good ever happens to anyone so it ends up feeling bland because it's all downs and no ups. There's something about it that feels therapeutic to me -- not in a good way, more in the way where a therapist would have this book on hand for victims of magical orphan duress. In case that happened.The protagonist, Oscar, is demonstrating Asperger-type traits, this is obviously intentional, but it's laid on much too thick and it never ends up going anywhere. It's tough to criticize this because you can feel how well-intentioned it was ... but it simply doesn't work.
  • (5/5)
    Oscar is a young boy who loves what he does -- he gathers herbs and other plants and prepares them for use by Caleb, the magician who took him in years ago.The routine calms him, his world is orderly, he and the cats get along well and he secretly reads some of the untold number of books in Caleb's library at night. He sleeps in a small room next to his workroom, both underground. The only thorn is Caleb's apprentice, Wolf, a cocky older boy. They work in the Barrow, shops where small bits of magic go into what is sold, for both regular people and the rich ones who live in the barricaded city.When Caleb leaves on business, Wolf and a girl apprentice take off for an afternoon in the forest. They don't survive. Caleb ends up spending more time away than he's at the shop, while Oscar is overwhelmed trying to help customers. When he makes an amazing discovery, it's a good thing he finally has someone he can talk to -- the healer's apprentice, Callie. She's nearly overwhelmed herself, as the healer starts spending as much time away as Caleb has been.Left on their own, and with the world around them changing, Oscar and Callie have a strenuous hero's journey to undertake in Anne Ursu's beautiful high fantasy, The Real Boy. Reading only on the level of adventure, it's a grand story indeed. But Ursu has woven a far richer tale. The Real Boy also has Oscar questioning everything about himself and what he thought he knew. Since the author has a young son who has autism, Oscar's questions are poignant and revealing. Readers also are led to question the world that the city folk have set up for themselves, and what happens when people try to keep hurt and risk at bay.The Real Boy is a wonderful story for middle grade students and above, including adults who think they know what is best and don't listen to children any longer. There is a generous spirit at play in these pages to delight any who would enter.
  • (5/5)
    Oscar works for the magician Caleb. He works in the basement. He strikes up a friendship with Callie who is an apprentice to the village healer. He is constantly tormented and put down by Wolf who also works for Caleb and thinks himself so much better than Caleb. One day Caleb disappears and Wolf gets killed. This means that Caleb must leave the basement and wait on the customers. He is shy and backwards, yet he truly has a gift. When the children of the village get very sick, Callie and Caleb set out to find out why, and to solve the problem. I loved the feeling of being vulnerable the author created with Caleb. With the boy ‘Wolf’ she created a perfect bully. One the reader could easily despise. Caleb is happy staying out of everyone’s way in the basement. He reads at night when he’s had nightmares. He waits until everyone is in bed then he sneaks into the Magician’s library and reads. There is plenty of adventure and suspense in the book to keep you reading. The best part about all of it is the ending you don’t see coming. This was one book that was consistently checked out of my classroom this last year. Such an awesome and fun book to read.
  • (4/5)
    By the time I got to page 15, I had a problem. I knew I was so hopelessly in love with this book that I couldn’t bear to read any more, because then it would be over, but I also couldn’t bear to stop reading, because I wanted to be immersed in this magical world created by Ursu! Needless to say, I felt compelled to continue on....This is the story of an eleven-year-old boy, Oscar, who has been told he is nothing his whole life, and now he believes it. He works as a helper to a magician in a world in which a plague has taken many lives, except for those of the people of Aletheia who have been protected by magic. Oscar's employer, Master Caleb, has a shop in which he sells all sorts of herbal concoctions and remedies to meet the needs of townspeople looking for love and luck and wards against evil and occasionally even healing of actual maladies. Caleb also has an apprentice, called Wolf, who is a cruel bully to Oscar when Caleb isn’t looking. In a wonderful passage that gives you a flavor of Ursu’s writing with its warmth, humor and charm, she explains:"The apprentice’s name was Wolf, because sometimes the universe is an unsutble place.”Oscar clarifies that one of the reasons he loves to go into the woods so much on his herb-collecting trips is because “...the forest ... felt as secure and familiar as Oscar’s own pantry. Better, because there were only wolves, and no Wolf.”Oscar also explains that the magic of the place comes from its soil, with the plants and shrubs and flowers and mushrooms that, in combination, bring out each other’s strengths and work together to become healing salves or soothing teas or at least, palliatives that do no harm. Because, as Wolf sneeringly points out to Oscar, if people want to believe something works like magic, it will. This is precisely the reason the man who bakes bread for the village doesn’t use it: “My boy,” he says to Oscar, “you cannot look to magic to solve your problems.” (In one very funny passage, a gentleman tells Oscar he is looking for a necklace “that would cause any lady who received them as a gift to forgive the sins of the person who gave them to her.” Oscar opines, “You could try apologizing.” The story continues: “The gentleman peered at Oscar, then shook his head. ‘I’ll try the perfumer.’”)Oscar is having these encounters with customers because Caleb has left on business, and Wolf is gone too. There is no one else to run the shop. With the aid of Callie, the young helper of the local healer who is also gone, the two of them end up dealing with all of the town’s growing problems on their own, and maybe even transforming the world in the process. And finally, Oscar finds out what the feeling of magic really is.Evaluation: This utterly captivating middle grade (and up) novel manages to immerse you immediately inside Oscar’s magical world without excessive world-building details. Much of what makes the world different only becomes clear as part of an investigation by Oscar and Callie as they race against the clock to help the sick children of the town. There is plenty of suspense and heartbreak and hope and love in the mix of healing and magic that comprise this ultimately uplifting and beautiful story. Yes, it is designed so that middle graders can understand it, but the author kept me guessing: "Oh!", I would think: "it’s actually a retelling of THIS!" And then, "No! it’s about THAT!" I never really knew until Oscar and Callie knew! Highly recommended!Note: The book includes lovely illustrations by Erin McGuire.
  • (4/5)
    I was excited to read this book, I absolutely loved the other book I have read by Ursu called Breadcrumbs. While I didn’t like this book as much as Breadcrumbs it was still a very good read.Oscar is a shop boy for Caleb, the most powerful magician in Asteri. He spends his days in a dark cellar weighing out ingredients for his master and dodging Will, the cruel magician’s apprentice. When Will is killed and Caleb goes missing, Oscar is left in charge of the shop. Then it is brought to his attention by the healer’s apprentice Callie that the children of Asteri are falling ill. Oscar and Caleb find they must work together to solve the mystery behind the illness.There is some interesting world-building in this book. Asteri is basically a walled city that was protected from the plague by a magic grove of trees called the Barrows. The trees are actually wizards who sacrificed themselves to save the village from the plague. What makes this even more interesting is that magic only seems to exist in the vicinity of the Barrows and no where else in the world.I have read a lot of reviews that go into great depth discussing Oscar’s characterization. Oscar loves his routine and prefers the company of his cats to other people. He is incredibly smart, but has a very hard time dealing with people and dealing with stressful situations. The author has mentioned that his character was based on her son who has Asperger’s Syndrome. I liked Oscar as a character, I was a bit sad for him because Caleb treats him so poorly. It was also a bit sad that Oscar felt like he had to find a reason for being different rather than just accepting that he was a bit different from everyone else. It is wonderful to watch as he grows into a larger life and into a “real boy” like he has always wanted to be.Oscar’s life changes significantly when Callie enters the story. She is the apprentice to the Healer and helps Oscar deal with the people-side of the shop business when Caleb goes missing. She is also the one who notices the strange pattern in the children of Asteri getting sick. She kind of opens up Oscar’s eyes to the life outside of his little cellar and starts to teach him how to interact with people.There is a good mystery here as Oscar and Callie try to solve the sickness. There is also some mystery around a large monster that starts to attack the town. The book is well written with excellent imagery. There are some good twists in the story and the story is engaging.Overall I enjoyed this book. The world is interesting and the characters are easy to engage with. The writing is excellent and the mystery is well done. There are a number of good lessons about accepting who you are and learning to tolerate different kinds of people. There is also some interesting discussion on what would happen if society was dependent on magic. I did like Breadcrumbs even more than this book, so if you liked this book make sure to read that one as well. Recommended to fans of middle grade fantasy.