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The Real Boy by Anne Ursu
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The Real Boy

by Anne Ursu

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2572044,496 (3.92)10
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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. ( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
This book is an excellent piece of fantasy. It's funny in places and dark in others. I am concerned that children won't pick it up so I strongly urge the publisher of this book to give the paperback a more appealing cover. ( )
  EmilyRokicki | Feb 26, 2016 |
Even though fantasy is not my favorite genre, I found myself truly loving the simplicity of the character, Oscar's journey in discovering his own humanness which was quit real and tied to the Autistic spectrum. I feel a closeness to children with autism and love watching them grow and become more "typical" as Oscar did.
Curricular connection: Compare and contrast characters: Wolf and Oscar, and the two cities: Wisteria to the Burrow.
  sanm277 | Feb 22, 2016 |
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. ( )
  delphica | Feb 3, 2015 |
Oscar works for the magician Caleb. But he isn't his apprentice; he's just the "hand." He spends most of his time hidden in the cellar mixing herbs and potions for the customers. And although many people call him "simple" - or worse! - he's actually smarter than Caleb's apprentice, Wolf. But when the usual order of things starts to unravel, and children in the city fall ill, Oscar will have to venture out of his comfortable life in the basement to confront the problems.

This is a very interesting story. It's told from Oscar's point of view, and he seems to be somewhere on the autism spectrum, like Asperger’s maybe. He is obsessed with order and I thought it was an interesting glimpse into his thought processes. But he's also a very likeable character, as is Madame Mariel's apprentice Callie, who befriends him. The mystery of what is going on, and how Oscar and Caleb fit into it all, makes for a compelling story. And I really liked the way it ended and the conclusion, that sometimes magic isn't the answer to all our problems. Nice book that kept me guessing! ( )
  J.Green | Aug 26, 2014 |
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"A shy boy named Oscar who works as the hand to a powerful magic worker becomes the only person who can save his village from an evil monster"--

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