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Pattou, Edith.
New York : Harcourt, 2003.
ISBN 0152045635

(5 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Rose saw the white bear watching her from behind some bushes. He was the biggest, fiercest bear she had ever seen, but when she looked into his eyes there was only sadness. Read this numinous tale set in medieval Norway to enjoy a sweeping romantic epic based on the fairytale, East of the Sun and West of the Moon. Nymah Rose was born in a rural village where folks still believed that children inherited the qualities of the direction in which they were born. She was a North-born baby, destined to break her mother’s heart with her wild, footloose rambling ways. Her mother wanted to her to keep her from this fate, telling her she was born to the East, the obedient and pliable direction. However, when Rose meets the enchanted white bear, she follows her true birthright, leaving home on a quest which will enchant and entertain you. Any person who loved Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted will find this elegant tale a similar joy, something between myth and fantasy.  (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2004-2005)

Booktalk #2

If you are a fan of fairy tales, this is the book for you.  Edith Pattou has taken the Norwegian folktale “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” and crafted in to novel length.  It is the story of Rose who agrees to go with a white bear to improve the health of her sister and the fortunes of her family.  The white bear is a prince who has been enchanted by the Troll Queen.  Rose is tricked into trying to discover who the bear is and as she does, loses everything.  She must journey to the land of the Troll Queen to find her lost love.  Along the way she has many adventures and must use cunning and courage to be reunited with her prince.  (Heidi Lewis, South Carolina Book Awards, 2006)

It all began with a pair of boots. It was the first gift brought to the poor mapmaker’s newborn baby girl, and everyone knew first gifts were full of meaning. The boots meant she would become a traveler, something her superstitious mother could not endure. The mother, Eugenia, held fervently to the ancient belief that children inherit the qualities of the direction in which they are born. Nymah Rose, the last daughter of eight siblings was a North-born baby. It is said that North-born babies are wild, unpredictable, intelligent, and destined to break their mothers' hearts because they all leave hearth and home to travel to the far ends of the earth. To keep her close, Rose’s mother lied and told her she had been born of the obedient and pliable East. But Rose always felt out of place, thus when a mysterious white bear appears and asks for Rose to go with him to his castle in exchange for her family’s health, she agrees, and her travels begin. The rich tale is recounted by all the characters’ viewpoints. Rose herself, her regretful father, her hopeful brother Neddy, the charmed white bear, and the troll queen whose selfish wish is the catalyst that seals Rose’s fate. This is a fresh and original retelling of the classic tale “East of the Sun, West of the Moon,” leading readers between myth and fantasy on a journey that will enchant any and all who venture into the book, East!  (Rose Grayson, South Carolina Book Awards, 2006)

Booktalk #3

Rose has always felt out of place in her family, a wanderer in a bunch of homebodies. So when an enormous white bear mysteriously shows up and asks her to come away with him--in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family--she readily agrees. The bear takes Rose to a distant castle, where each night she is confronted with a mystery. In solving that mystery, she loses her heart, discovers her purpose, and realizes her travels have only just begun.  (Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award 2008)

Booktalk #4

In this Epic adventure, love story, and fantasy a young girl, Rose learns about true strength, courage and love.  East is a retelling of "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," a Norse fairy tale.  As the story begins you meet Rose and her family.  She is the seventh child, born to replace another that had died at an early age.  In a family of homebodies she stands out, unlike the others, adventure calls to her as soon as she is able to walk.  The only time Rose is still is when she is weaving, which she is very good at.   Unfortunately her family has come upon dire times, her middle sister Sara has become very ill, and her family farm is failing.  The last straw is when her father receives an eviction notice; the family has less than a month to get off their land.  The week before they are to leave, after a very meager dinner the family is sitting by their small hearth when their door bursts open and a huge white bear welcomes himself into their home.  (Read 72-73)  7 days later when the white bear returns, before anyone can stop her Rose tells him that she will go with him. The white bear places Rose on his back and off they go.  Rose's journey begins.  Finally they come to a mountainside, which turns out to be a hidden castle.  The castle appears empty but there is hot food and drink, fresh bread, and fires lit.  Everywhere she goes lamps have been lit, and it appears someone else is taking care of her but she sees no one.  Finally she finds what is to be her bedroom and falls asleep.  That night a sound, and then the feeling of someone climbing into the bed next to her awaken her.  When she looks around, the room is pitch black and she can see nothing.   Each night this happens, and each night no matter what, the lamps go out before the stranger comes to the bed.  Who or what is it?  Is this thing a monster?  What does the White Bear intend to do with Rose? Will she ever get to see her family again?  Has the bear kept his promise and saved Rose's sister and family?  Who is making the food in the castle and where does it come from?  To find the answers read East by Edith Pattou. (Della Phipps, Librarian, Chattanooga Hamilton County Bicentennial Library, Chattanooga TN)

Booktalk #5

If you like books about enchanted polar bears, ice queens, and trolls then you will definetly like this book. Join Rose on a fantastic journey to ice lands that no human ever thought possible to survive in. Find out if Rose lives through the cold with only a few chunks of dried seal meat and her memories from her good farm life back home. Why does Rose decide to go with the polar bear in the first place, why did her mother encourage it? read this book to find out all of the answers to these interesting questions. All of these questions are in the book and are very exciting and fun to read about.   (Shalie, K-12 student)

SUBJECTS:      Fairy tales.
                        Bears -- Fiction.
                        Magic -- Fiction.


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