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Poisoned
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Poisoned
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From Jennifer Donnelly, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Stepsister, comes a fairytale retelling that'll forever change the way you think about strength, power, and the real meaning...
From Jennifer Donnelly, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Stepsister, comes a fairytale retelling that'll forever change the way you think about strength, power, and the real meaning...
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  • From Jennifer Donnelly, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Stepsister, comes a fairytale retelling that'll forever change the way you think about strength, power, and the real meaning of "happily ever after."

    Once upon a time, a girl named Sophie rode into the forest with the queen's huntsman. Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight. When they stopped to rest, the huntsman took out his knife . . . and took Sophie's heart.It shouldn't have come as a surprise. Sophie had heard the rumors, the whispers. They said she was too kind and foolish to rule — a waste of a princess. A disaster of a future queen. And Sophie believed them. She believed everything she'd heard about herself, the poisonous words people use to keep girls like Sophie from becoming too powerful, too strong . . .With the help of seven mysterious strangers, Sophie manages to survive. But when she realizes that the jealous queen might not be to blame, Sophie must find the courage to face an even more terrifying enemy, proving that even the darkest magic can't extinguish the fire burning inside every girl, and that kindness is the ultimate form of strength.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2020
    The story of "Snow White" recast as a parable of fear and love. Princess Charlotta-Sidonia Wilhelmina Sophia of the Greenlands--or Sophie--loves her tough-minded fiance but worries that she is not made of stern enough stuff to rule. Her cruel stepmother, enthralled by Corvinus, the King of Crows and the personification of Fear, has been dripping such poison in the princess's ears forever. But when the queen orders her heart cut out, Sophie--outfitted with a new clockwork heart by seven mysterious brothers--sets out to rescue her kingdom before the mechanism winds down. Lush, almost-purple prose depicts a vaguely Germanic fantasy landscape populated with intriguing legends and creepy horrors. Sophie, however, is portrayed as so sickly sweet and generous that it's hard not to agree with her stereotypically villainous stepmother about her dimwitted naivet�. Sophie trusts everyone and falls in love (twice!) on the merest acquaintance, is instantly adored by many, and is rescued from her own poor judgment by a succession of men. The climactic confrontation hand-waves away the threat to Sophie's life, and all problems of state are surmounted through the power of nice. The novel reiterates ad nauseam the importance of not listening to fear. Characters default to White. Heavy-handed. (Fairy-tale adaptation. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    August 1, 2020
    Grades 9-12 Using the same dramatic conceit she did in Stepsister (2019), Donnelly thoughtfully and critically unwinds the fairy tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to tell the story of Sophie, a princess whose stepmother believes her kindness is a weakness. As Sophie falters under the weight of toxic words, her stepmother, the queen, listens to a darker force, who advises her on her reign. When the queen's huntsman leads Sophie into the woods and cuts out her heart, Sophie is rescued by seven brothers who make her a clockwork replacement. As her stepmother, propelled by otherworldly forces, solidifies her reign, Sophie struggles with whether or not kindness is a strength or a weakness, and fights to understand what kind of queen she could be?if she survives long enough to take the throne. With adept prose, Donnelly twists the familiar story until it bursts, artfully examining the forces that motivate us in a narrative that's more cerebral than Stepsister. A finale hints that more variations on this theme are to come, and readers will welcome them.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2020

    Gr 9 Up-Donnelly's feminist retelling of Grimms' fairy tale "Snow White" is told from the point of view of princess Sophie. Like Snow White, Sophie has lips as red as blood, skin as pale as snow, and dark hair. Her father died years ago, and approaching 17, Sophie is expected to marry well and inherit his throne. However, Queen Adelaide, Sophie's stepmother, despises her. While beautiful, Sophie is perceived by the queen to be too foolish, kind, and weak to be a leader-and Sophie undoubtedly believes her. The King of Crows visits the queen in her mirror and tells her Sophie is her biggest threat. In turn, she orders the huntsman to kill Sophie and retrieve her heart. Seven brothers walking in the Darkwood hear Sophie's scream, find her, and save her life by building her a new heart. The brothers clothe her, feed her, and bring her back to health. They also provide some much-needed comic relief and try to convince Sophie to view kindness as a strength. Fearing for her safety, they advise Sophie to stay hidden. After attempting to leave for the first time, the brothers find Sophie and tell her the truth of what happened. Sophie realizes she cannot wait any longer. She embarks on a treacherous yet successful journey home to Skandinay to reclaim what was stolen from her. VERDICT An empowering and action-packed feminist retelling that will be popular with fantasy and fairy tale-loving teens.-Jess Gafkowitz, Brooklyn P.L.

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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