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Goose Chase


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About the Author

Patrice Kindl's first novel, Owl in Love, was an ALA Notable Book for Children, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and an SCBWI Golden Kite Award Honor Book. She lives in Middleburgh, New York.


Kindl (Owl in Love) once again takes flight, this time proffering an engaging gaggle of a dozen geese and the orphaned Goose Girl who tends them. Eschewing a "once upon a time" opening, the spunky narrator sets the novel's tone: "What do I care for custom? 'Tis my own story I am telling and I will tell it as I please." Goose Girl addresses the audience from the high tower in which she is trapped by a king and prince (from dueling kingdoms), both of whom covet her hand, her golden tresses (which yield gold dust) and her tears (which turn to diamonds), not to mention her beauty the latter three were gifts from a mysterious old woman to whom the girl showed some kindness. Luckily, her 12 charges evade the royals and organize their keeper's rescue. Kindl draws on a wealth of fairy tale lore to describe what follows. The geese deposit Goose Girl in a dilapidated cottage, where a trio of ogresses reside and promptly take her captive; the prince tracks her down, and Baba Yaga fans will recognize a few of the heroine's tricks that help her escape. Next, Goose Girl and the prince are cast into a dungeon belonging to an ally of the aforementioned king (that initial high tower of entrapment is not the only reference to Rapunzel Goose Girl's hair here comes to her aid). Those familiar with the Brothers Grimm's "The Six Swans" may not be surprised by the ending, but it's how Kindl gets there, tying up all loose ends along the way, that will hold readers' attention. Ages 10-14. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"Kindl once again takes flight, drawing on a wealth of fairy tale lore, this time proffering an engaging gaggle of a dozen geese and the orphaned Goose Girl who tends them," Publishers Weekly, starred review.

Gr 6-9-When an orphaned Goose Girl gives bread to an old beggar woman, the hag rewards her with a spell that makes her beautiful and rich, with her tears crystallizing into diamonds and gold dust falling from her hair. The desirable young woman then attracts a tyrannical king and a seemingly dim-witted prince, both of whom want to marry her. Determined to stay single, Alexandria Aurora Fortunato endures imprisonment in a tower; an escape that finds her in the valley of the grave-stealing, cannibalistic yet bumbling ogresses; and other dangers before she learns that she is a princess and that the 12 geese she tended are, in fact, her sisters. Her many adventures, while amusing, bog down the story a bit, leaving readers ready for a resolution. Still, Alexandria is a witty, feisty, no-nonsense feminist, and her tale is told with tongue in cheek and lots of laugh-out-loud humor. While the story bares only slight resemblance to the classic "Goose Girl," other tales are added to the mix: the girl's magical hair grows very long and she wears glass slippers. Kindl's writing is full of imagery and alliteration, and is peppered with old-fashioned and nonsense words that add to the fun. With its touch of romance, this coming-of-age story will appeal to teens who enjoy fantasy based on fairy tales.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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