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The Various by Steve Augarde
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The Various (2003)

by Steve Augarde

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
I struggled with this book. I didn't click with Augarde's style at all. There was too much head-hopping going on too noticeably and the way he tried to ensure we knew what he was referring to (At one point several of the Various are talking about a felix to one another and they go "You know, what gorgi/humans call cats" because obviously kids aren't capable of making the connection on their own. If they'd been talking to Midge or, well, any other human, I'd have been fine with it, but they weren't.) The book's filled with little niggly things that one or two additional rounds of content editing would have caught.

And it's a shame because the story is a whole lot of fun. It's fast, it's twisty, it's sweet. It says a lot about friendship and loyalty, and it tries to say a lot about racism and discrimination. It's got a great set of characters: Little-Marten's vivacy and cheerfulness, Henty's shyness, Midge's compassion, George's mischief, the relationship between all the Various tribes and the relationship between them and the humans. And Pegs. Let's not forget Pegs. Pegs is very sweet, and reminded me a smidge of Madeline L'Engle's three Mrses. It's very definitely the first in a series, but it's a fun way to spend the afternoon that's just simple not quite as much fun as it could have been. (Really. So much potential still unused. T_T)

But, yes, the little niggling issues I mentioned in the first paragraph stopped me from engaging with this story the way that I'd wanted to and could have. As a story, it was quite a lot of fun and I'd have loved it as a child. ( )
  lynnoconnacht | Apr 5, 2013 |
  jeremylukehill | Feb 9, 2011 |
I really enjoyed this book. I found that it was different from all the other fairy books. I can't wait to read the other 2 books. ( )
  millett23 | Oct 28, 2010 |
I felt this had a slow start but after that I was entirely hooked - have all three books on hand because once you get started you won't want to stop!
Augarde builds a beautiful, very real, location that you strongly want to visit with strong male, female and fairy characters! Midge and Celandine are really the centre of the trilogy which should engage the female interest yet there are battle scenes and adventure for boys too.
Unlike Pullman's His Dark Materials (also published by Fickling books), this isn't about saving the world but saving a tribe of fairy people, The Various, and giving them back a future after the world has been overrun by humans. Naturally, it's our children who help but they are allowed to age and develop over the three books, especially Celandine of the second book who we meet later in book 3 as a very old lady. This almost time travel aspect, jumping back and forward through the generations, makes these books more unusual than your average children's "save the fairies" story. ( )
  Jennie_103 | Jan 15, 2010 |
Reviewed by Joan Stradling for TeensReadToo.com

Twelve-year-old Midge has been sent to stay with her Uncle Brian at Mill Farm while her musician mother goes on tour.

Though she's not sure what to expect, Midge never dreamed of the adventures she'd encounter at the farm. She stumbles upon an injured winged horse in one of the outbuildings and helps the creature. She learns the horse lives in the Royal Wood. Unfortunately, Uncle Brian has decided to sell the woods and they are set to be plowed down.

Midge is led through the brambles and unkempt boundaries of the woods to share this dire news with the Various. While she'd heard stories of pixies and fairies, Midge never dreamed they existed and that she'd be drawn into their world. But things aren't always magical in the world of the Various and not everyone is happy to see her. Now the Various aren't the only ones in danger.

THE VARIOUS is a thrilling book told from several different points of view as we learn about the characters both human and of the Various. Though the story moved slowly in places, the idea and characters are intriguing enough to keep the reader enthralled as the story progresses to the fantastic and thrilling ending.

I enjoyed being introduced to THE VARIOUS and am looking forward to reading more about them and Augarde's other characters in CELANDINE, the second book in THE TOUCHSTONE TRILOGY. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 13, 2009 |
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Dedicated to all those who live precariously yet remain hopeful. (And this includes my family of course - Gina, Camille and Marcelle)
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The Various were not as Midge had imagined they would be.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440420296, Paperback)

The idea of a race of little people (fairies) living secretly among us has had a powerful hold on the imaginations of writers from Shakespeare to Terry Pratchett and Eoin Colfer. In The Various, Steve Augarde has used this fascination brilliantly to craft the first novel of a trilogy full of breathless action and wonder. When twelve-year-old Midge is sent by her concert-violinist mother to spend the summer at the farm of her sweet but bungling Uncle Brian, her initial resentment gives way to delight in the freedom of exploring the countryside. When she discovers a tiny winged horse lying wounded in an outbuilding, she is awestruck to find out that he comes from a civilization of five various tribes of little people living in a nearby wood—-something readers will have already learned from alternate chapters set in the fairy world. Disaster threatens when Uncle Brian plans to sell the wood to a developer, and Midge and her cousins find (to their own peril), that some of the little people are not as helpless as they seem. Steve Augarde draws on his visual and auditory skills as a BBC animator and picture book author/illustrator for vividly realized detail—-the dumpy and addled fairy queen, the smells and moods of the English summer, the sharply differentiated accents and personalities of each of the five tribes—-in an entrancing debut fantasy. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:41 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

While staying on her uncle's rundown farm in the Somerset countryside, twelve-year-old Midge discovers that she has a special connection to the Various, a tribe of "strange, wild--and sometimes deadly" fairies struggling to maintain their existence in the nearby woods.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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