Book Review of The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My Thoughts after Reading
This is a magical read. Magical in the sense that rightaway, you can tell you are going to be whisked away in a mystic land, somewhere you can relate to, yet there’s something exotic about it.
The names of food and drinks give this book an Eastern-European feel. The house is the doorway between this world and the afterworld. It is alive. It’s got its own personality and it communicates to our main character in its own way. Think of the The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, except it’s got an even more personal relationship.
If I had one wish about this book, it would be the pacing in the third quarter. I got the message quite early on that Marinka was determined not to accept her destiny, yet throughout this third quarter I was reminded of it too many times. For this mini imperfection, if ratings could be in decimals, I’d rate this book about 3.7*
Overall, I’d recommend it. It is a good read. I am not surprised it is a Carnegie Medal nominee.
All 12-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. Sure, the house can play games like tag and hide-and-seek, but Marinka longs for a human companion. Someone she can talk to and share secrets with.
But that’s tough when your grandmother is a Yaga, a guardian who guides the dead into the afterlife. It’s even harder when you live in a house that wanders all over the world . . . carrying you with it. Even worse, Marinka is being trained to be a Yaga. That means no school, no parties–and no playmates that stick around for more than a day.
So when Marinka stumbles across the chance to make a real friend, she breaks all the rules . . . with devastating consequences. Her beloved grandmother mysteriously disappears, and it’s up to Marinka to find her–even if it means making a dangerous journey to the afterlife.
With a mix of whimsy, humor, and adventure, this debut novel will wrap itself around your heart and never let go.