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March/April 2022 Kids Indie Next List
“Listen. This is a terrific story by a master storyteller. The Ogress and the Orphans is a fable about solidarity and warns against cultural fragmentation, featuring children who are — like most kids — smarter than the adults around them.”
— Timothy Otte, Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, MN
The first novel from Kelly Barnhill since her bestselling Newbery Medal winner, The Girl Who Drank the Moon, is another instant fantasy classic. The once-lovely town of Stone-in-the-Glen has fallen on hard times. After relentless fires, floods, and other calamities, they've lost their library, their school, their park, their prosperity. Even their neighborliness is lost. Only the wise and clever children of the Orphan House and the kindly Ogress who lives quietly at the edge of town see clearly how dire things are. The people of Stone-in-the-Glen have put their faith in their Mayor, a dazzling fellow with a bright shock of yellow hair and white teeth, who promises that he alone can solve their problems. After all, he is a famous dragon slayer At least, no one has ever seen a dragon in the Mayor's presence. One terrible day, a child goes missing from the Orphan House, and the townspeople vow to find her. Thanks to the Mayor's insidious suggestion, all eyes turn to the Ogress. The Orphans know this can't be: it's the Ogress, assisted by a particularly excellent flock of crows, who secretly delivers much-needed gifts to the suffering humans. But how can the Orphans tell the story of the Ogress's goodness to people who listen only to themselves? And how can they make their enraged, deluded neighbors see the real villain in their midst?