The Blue Shoe: A Tale of Thievery, Villainy, Sorcery, and Shoes
by Roderick Townley
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October, 2009
List Price: $21.00
Review: Would you endeavor to read a story full of thievery, villainy, and shoes? If you’re brave enough, The Blue Shoe would be a perfect fit for you. The Blue Shoe is a non-series book written by Roderick Townley and illustrated by the famous Mary GrandPré. The Main Characters are father and son, Hap and Silas Barlo, Sophia Hartpence, the daughter of the forever bickering owners of a store, Grel, a poor shoemaker, and the arrogant mayor.
One day a tall, mysterious figure pays Grel to make a blue shoe covered in a ton of precious, semi-precious, and just beautiful blue stones. These stones are of all different shades, hues, and tints of different kinds of blue. The stranger then leaves and does not come back. Hap Barlo is an intelligent young boy who is a dreamer, a doer, and sadly a thief. He often steals to stop his father, Silas from begging. There are no beggars in Alpnap and begging is illegal. In fact, the mayor sends whoever gets caught begging to Mt. Xenax. There are tales about that mountain; no one is certain what happens to people on that mountain. Some people even believe that Xenax, the goddess herself turns the banished into soup in her cauldron which is the volcanic top of the mountain. The only thing they know for sure about Mt. Xenax is that no one ever comes back. Eventually Silas Barlo is caught begging and gets sent to Mt. Xenax. Hap is then apprenticed to Grel because he was caught stealing from the mayor’s wife. Soon a beggar girl is arrested and kind Hap tries to pay her fine by taking a large sapphire from his master’s Blue Shoe. Hap is once again arrested for stealing and gets sentenced to banishment on top of Mt. Xenax. Most people would be sad and afraid but Hap isn’t. Hap feels that this is an opportunity to rescue his father. Sophia, Hap’s best friend repeatedly tries rescuing but is refused by him and ends up going to Mt. Xenax with him. Soon they are on an adventure that changes everyone’s lives.
I like the action at the end of the book because it is very well described and, I also like the part, when Grel gets a feast. I like it because the book ends with an extremely joy filled end. I don’t like the part, when Baen dies because Hap tries extremely hard to keep him alive and his hard work goes in vain, this part was one of the meager amounts of sadness in the story. The time when Silas sings his song was hilarious and witty. I think that anyone of age 7 and up should read this book anyone younger than 7 might not comprehend The Blue Shoe. Overall I loved The Blue Shoe because it is a phenomenal book with a wonderful plot, it glued my eyes to each page, and I couldn’t stop reading until the book was done. I rate this book a 4 out of 5.
Review written by Ohm (6th grade student).
We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of The Blue Shoe: A Tale of Thievery, Villainy, Sorcery, and Shoes for this review.
Have you read The Blue Shoe: A Tale of Thievery, Villainy, Sorcery, and Shoes? How would you rate it?