A Tangle of Knots
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A Tangle of Knots

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,772 ratings  ·  456 reviews
Told in multiple viewpoints, A Tangle of Knots is a magnificent puzzle. In a slightly magical world where everyone has a Talent, eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. But little does she know that fate has set her on a journey from the moment she was born. And her destiny leads her to a mysterious address that houses a lost luggage emp...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Philomel
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Middle Grade Novels of 2013
22nd out of 304 books — 532 voters
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Newbery 2014
20th out of 82 books — 307 voters


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Nafiza
A Tangle of Knots is a middle grade novel with a lot of ambitions. The characters are all interesting, the premise is interesting and the plot is fast paced and filled with action. The problem is that the novel bites off more than it can chew in the relatively few number of pages it calls its own. There are way too many characters and not enough time is spent developing them all. I understand what the novel intended to do with this set up but unfortunately, for me, it failed. This does not mean...more
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
Jun 16, 2013 Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: fans of dragon tales and readers in a slump
Recommended to Stuti by: i can find cool books on my own too, you know
Shelves: magical-realism
This is a demure, delightful, enchanting book. If it were a color, it'd be mauve.

Think rescuing a lighter for noble purposes was the most whimsy task you'd been sent to accomplish? Well, here's another.

Try searching fifty years for a suitcase.

It was a very old suitcase, but sturdy and well-loved, boxy and large as a small child, with worn corners and three small dimples near the left clasp. Across the top a cursive scrawl of silver thread spelled out the brand: St. Anthony’s.

But now now, this i...more
Liviania
A TANGLE OF KNOTS is a story told in bits and pieces, where every little bit connects and creates a whole that is lovely and magical. What at first seems random is interconnected, people moving in and out of each other's lives in the most unexpected ways.

Cady is an orphan with a Talent for baking cakes. That's talent with a capital T. The world of A TANGLE OF KNOTS is much like ours except for the fact that most people have Talents. It can take awhile to find yours, and it may not be impressive,...more
Tasha
Cady has a Talent for baking cakes and making just the right one for a specific person. Miss Mallory’s Talent is matching children with the perfect home, but she hasn’t been able to find the right fit for Cady for years. Will has a Talent for hiding, passing through walls and disappearing along with his pet ferret. Zach has a Talent for spitting, something just right for a troublemaker. Marigold is desperately searching for her Talent, trying all sorts of things with no luck. Then there is the m...more
Barb Middleton
I have a Talent for burning food into unrecognizable rock-like chunks that Ker-plunk when tossed into the garbage can. The people of Poughkeepsie either have a Talent or they don't. The worst thing for a person in Pookie - I mean Poughkeepsie - is to have no Talent. Those that don't tend to be "Middlings" or middle children. (That explains my Talent woes). Poor Middling Marigold is one of those with no Talents and she's desperately trying to find it. When we first meet her in the story, she is t...more
Merin
A Tangle of Knots is a really cute middle grade novel. There were lots of things to love about this one, including the wide cast of characters, the whimsical aspects (hot air balloons and a girl who loves baking cakes), and the wonderfully appetizing cake recipes scattered throughout. It's also a really fast read; I was finished with it in a matter of hours, and it had a readability factor to it that kept me eagerly turning pages. While it did take me a while to ultimately figure out what was go...more
Cecelia
One person I trust (and you should, too!) for middle grade recommendations is Charlotte of Charlotte’s Library. When she reviewed Lisa Graff’s A Tangle of Knots and mentioned fantasy and baking in the same breath, I knew this would be a book for me. And so it is – the charming story and tasty recipes included at chapter’s end are light, lovely reading.

A Tangle of Knots is a gem of a story: short, sweet, magical, and full of unexpected characters and connections. It centers on Cady, a diminutive...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Some books are just very special and A Tangle of Knots is certainly one of those very special books. Graff is spot on with the voice/tone of the story and also with how she weaves together all of the different pieces of the mystery but never revealing too much at one time. This one will stay with me for awhile and will also be one that I recommend over and over again.
Franki Sibberson
I love Lisa Graff. I love this kind of a story. Love the way the characters' stories come together. Love the big message. Love the characters. Love Graff's writing.
Lynn
This is definitely my kind of book! Lots of humor, wonderful intricate plot, and a totally satisfying resolution where everything comes together. delightful!
Sandy
I have to admit when I started A Tangle of Knots, I was quite confused. Too many characters were tossed at me, their lives all scattered around and I felt I had no one to connect to, I was losing faith. In walked Cady. Although she had been “sent to live with no fewer than six families” and had returned to live at Miss Mallory’s Home for Lost Children, she had found a place in my heart. Cady had an amazing Talent and a positive attitude, I knew that Cady was someone unique. Having lived in the h...more
Rachael Stein

IN A WORLD divided between those with special "Talents" and those who are merely "Fair," a mystery is waiting to be unraveled.

Eleven-year-old Cady is in the first group. Not only does she bake extraordinary cakes, she can ascertain a person's ideal variety of cake just by looking at them. She wins a lot of baking contests. Marigold Asher, on the other hand, is the only Fair member of a Talented family. She spends a lot of time looking for her Talent. And then there's the cantankerous Owner of th...more
Kaleena Melotti
A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff is spectacular! I loved this book from the first word to the last. It is different strands of one intricately woven story!

Each chapter gives you a look at one character and how they deal with everything going on around them. As you read, those seemingly unrelated strands get tangled together to give you the perfect blend of life.

In a world of Talented (those who have a special Talent) or Fair (those who don't or haven't found their Talent) people, is a cast of cha...more
Patrick
A great magical story where no one dies; no one is scarily evil; and the magic of the characters consists of everyday activities: being good at knitting, baking or, as the title suggests, tying knots.

The very last part is what I loved most about Knots. Everyone has a Talent. Those Talents are things that an everyday, average person could also be good at. Some Talents were useful: baking, and some were mundane: floating two feet off the ground. No one in the story had abilities that you would ty...more
Destinee Sutton
Many characters' stories are tangled up into this hairy knot of a novel. Among the kids, there's Cady, an orphan and a Talented baker of cakes; Zane, a troublemaker with a Talent for spitting; Marigold, a responsible girl trying to find her Talent; and little Will, who is always getting lost. The cast of adults includes the grumpy, villainous Owner of the Lost Luggage Emporium; the sweet matchmaker Jennifer Mallory; an old lady known only as "V;" the mysterious Toby; the even more mysterious man...more
Becky
A Tangle of Knots reminded me of Ingrid Law's Savvy. In both MG novels, we've got some characters with special, unique talents or powers. In A Tangle of Knots, readers meet a large cast of characters--children and adults, some more obviously talented than others in terms of magic. If we have a true main character, it would be Cady, a young girl with a talent for KNOWING precisely what kind of cake to bake for each person she meets. She has a way of knowing what each person's perfectly-perfect ca...more
Louize
Thoughts from The Page Walker

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff
National Book Award Nominee for Young People's Literature (2013)


In this whimsical story, Lisa Graff created an alternative reality wherein people are recognized through the Talent endowed on them, from baking, planting, knitting, even matching people together. Those who are talentless are called Fair, which isn't really a bad thing.

“A Talent is only rewarding if you wield it well.”

Before our main story begins, Mason Burgess (supposedly...more
Brooke
I received this book through goodreads giveaway!

There are certain books that when told with children reading them in mind, capture an essence of truth about life that us as adults can treasure even more.

After reading just the prologue I could see this was one of those books...

"A Tangle of Knots" is a magical tale about gifts we are given and how those gifts can touch other people's lives. Lisa Graff has written a beautiful story full of fun, mysterious, very likable characters...I just loved th...more
Susan P
This one was really fun! In a world where most people have a special talent, Cady's is a talent for baking. Upon meeting someone she instantly knows what kind of cake is their favorite. As a result, she is the reigning champion of the Sunshine Bakers of America Annual Cake Bakeoff. Cady is an orphan, and has spent her life at Miss Mallory's Home for Lost Girls. As the story opens, she is on the verge of being adopted. But first she encounters others who also have talents, and all of their storie...more
Karen
A blurb about this book said it is "Savvy meets When You Reach Me", and I think that's a good analogy for A Tangle of Knots. The different points of view make this delightful - the reader becomes very invested in each character. Graff weaves a plot that is magical with almost everyone in the book having a Talent, but there is also a Talent stealer. I think I am a good reader, but as the story skipped around with characters in the beginning, none seeming to have anything thing to do with the othe...more
Cindy
I loved this multiple-voiced middle grade novel. The characters were great and the tangle of plots was intriguing. I am reserving the fifth star for after a second read. I was feeling a little manipulated or at least that the hands pulling the strings of the plot were too visible...the book seemed to be trying a little too hard. And yet...I still loved the read and am eager to read it again to see how it feels now that I know how all the story lines connect. Graff did something special here. And...more
cuifen
Jan 11, 2014 cuifen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
This fun little book reminds me of Lemony Snicket (but lighter), in the way all the characters exhibit their own strange quirks, and how little clues are scattered throughout that all come together beautifully in the end. There's always just enough mystery about the story to keep you hooked and guessing. Lovely for younger readers.
Patti
Boy, this book is a challenge for me to review. I liked it… sort of. But, it certainly didn’t grab me the way I thought it was going to, especially considering all the glowing reviews. I read many of the 3-star reviews just to see if anyone else’s reaction was the same as mine, which was mixed with some stuff I liked, and the rest just jumbled. That’s exactly what I thought of the story – jumbled. Too jumbled.

What I did like was the ‘Talents’ part, where it was an important quest to find a perso...more
Debbie Tanner
This might be my new favorite book. This book has a long list of characters who at first do not seem to have any connection, an slime the title, appear to be a tangle of knots. But as you read, you start to make connections between the characters until the whole snarly ball comes untangled. I loved that the main character bakes cakes and that the characters all have Talents that shape their character as well their personality. Great story!
Tiffany
This was a book on our 5th grade reading challenge list and it's a book for our parent/child book club. It was very interesting and a quite inventive plot with a little bit of science fiction themes fit in. It gets 4 stars because of its originality. My son also really enjoyed it. The cast of characters is long and varied and we enjoyed the mystery of how they all were connected. Definitely not your average children's literature.
Kenzie
Jan 31, 2014 Kenzie rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Those who apprieciate creative minds and are intrigued by the book - that's all it takes.
Recommended to Kenzie by: The bookshelf in my English teacher's room.
3.5 stars - but obviously on the higher end rather than the lower.

Truly, I'm not quite sure what to say about this book. I read it in a day and it presented my imagination with delightful scenarios. It read a lot like a short story to me, well, expect that it was a full length book (though fairly short).
The prologue drew me in immediately and I wanted to know more. It was fun to have so many different perspectives in the book because they seemed to fit so well, especially once the secrets were l...more
Melissa Mahle
This is a fun story with the reader left guessing until the final chapters on how the author could possibly find a way to knot together the various subplots. Each chapter is from the view of a different character, which is refreshing and well done as I felt I understood each of the characters and found them interesting. Plus, with the mix of a bit of magic, it is a definitely pleaser for the Middle Grade reader.
Miss_b
I'd give this a 3.5 but the fact that my 10 year old daughter had endless discussion with me about this book and was on the edge of her seat as I read it to her... Well that makes it a 4 for sure. This book was fun and sweet. She could've read it on her own, but it was more special to read it together and she was so disappointed each evening when we had to put it away so she could crawl into her own bed.
Amanda Northrup
Set in a world where most people have a Talent, a magical skill such as baking, this book made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I loved the way Lisa Graff used short, pointed chapters to tell the story. This allowed her to uncover the story's many mysteries in small deliberate clues. I think I'm going to try it as a read aloud. I'll let you know how it goes.

Some reviewers have said that Graff's large cast of characters left many underdeveloped. While I agree, this didn't seem like a flaw to me...more
Phoebe
Graff writes a clever, sweet story with multiple voices, whose stories all eventually collide in a slightly predictable though charming ending. A man loses a suitcase, and more importantly, the slip of paper inside it. 53 years pass, and we meet new characters whose connection to the suitcase man is unclear. Everyone in Graff's world has a Talent, whether cake baking, or spitting, or being able to make the perfect match between people. Marigold, however, is constantly searching for her Talent, a...more
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“Life is the grandest adventure one can go on, isn't it?' said the giant kindly (he seemed to be a very friendly giant). 'What else could a person ask for than just to be alive?'

Will knew exactly what else a person could ask for. 'Monsters,' he said. 'And cake.”
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“It's the way we deal with what Fate hands us that defines who we are.” 0 likes
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