Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Thursday, November 10, 2011

Plot Summary:
Rose is destined to be a wanderer. Despite her mother's superstition, and denial, Rose was meant to adventure beyond the her homeland. Not only is she different from her her brothers and sisters, Rose is the apple of her father's eye because he know that she is special. Neddy, Rose's oldest brother, feels the same way and watches over Rose fearing that something will happen to her. However, when Rose falls into a pond she is saved by a giant White Bear. Even though Neddy witnessed this, he is pretty sure he imagined the Bear and doesn't tell anyone about him. However, when her family falls on hard times, and her sister, Sara, becomes ill, the White Bear that saved Rose returns offering a solution to all their financial troubles and Sara's declining health. The catch is: Rose must stay with the Bear for an unknown amount of time. Although she is excited about this proposition, her father and brother refuse to let her go. Rose's mother believes she is being punished for her denial about Rose's birth direction (Rose was born North, but her mother told her father that that she was born in the East) and the misfortune was upon them. Instead of protecting Rose, she tells her that is would be best that she left with the bear, which leaves her feeling worthless. Caught between her desire to see the lands beyond, and staying with her family, Rose goes with the Bear not knowing what will happen to her. What she does not realize is that this Bear is not any ordinary bear. Moreover, the time she spends with him she eventually learns that something terrible has happened to him and she would have to save him before its too late.   

Critical Evaluation:
Based on a Norwegian folk tale, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and Beauty and the Beast,  Edith Pattou crafts a tale of love, adventure, heart break, and danger. In this story, is a heroine who not only knows that she was meant for something more than a life a domesticity, but has more courage than most grown men. Readers will not only appreciate her strength, but they will also love Rose's kindness and empathy for the White Bear. Moreover, the quest that Rose must take in order to save the Bear not only provides vivid detail of the lands she travels, but the people she meets along the way, especially Thor and Malbo, the Inuit Shaman. For most readers, the part that will tug at the heart is when Rose reveals the identity of her Bear and losing him to the pale Troll Queen. East is an extraordinary tale of love and sacrifice that will beg readers to keep reading all the way to the end.

Information about the Author:
In her website, Edith Pattou was born "Evanston, Illinois, grew up in Winnetka, and was a teenager in the city of Chicago where she attended Francis W. Parker School. She completed her B.A. at Scripps College in Claremont, California where she won the Crombie Allen Award for creative writing. She later completed a Masters degree in English Literature at Claremont Graduate School followed by a Masters of Library and Information Science at UCLA" (para. 2). Not only has she worked for a variety of organizations (libraries, bookstores, schools, recording studio, and even the Playboy Foundation). She has written over three novels for young adults including: East, Firesong, and Fire Arrow. She has even written a children's book called Mrs. Spitzer's Garden.

Genre:
Teen Fantasy, Teen Romance


Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 8 & up


Books Similar to East:
Awards & Recognition:
  • Starred Review KLIATT (5/1/2005)
  • Starred Review Booklist (9/1/2003)
  • Starred Review SLJ's Best Books (12/1/2003)
  • Starred Review ALA's Best Books for Young Adults (3/15/2004)

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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