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A Tangle of Knots (A Tangle of Knots)

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,368 Ratings  ·  745 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, 230 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Philomel
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Middle Grade Novels of 2013
24th out of 365 books — 727 voters
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21st out of 112 books — 447 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nafiza
Jan 24, 2013 Nafiza rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley, 2013
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
Barb Middleton
Apr 14, 2014 Barb Middleton rated it really liked it
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
Tasha
Feb 11, 2013 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
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
Merin
Feb 18, 2013 Merin rated it really liked it
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
Liviania
Feb 13, 2013 Liviania rated it really liked it
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
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
Nov 15, 2014 Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship rated it liked it
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
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
...more
Lynn
Feb 25, 2013 Lynn rated it it was amazing
This is definitely my kind of book! Lots of humor, wonderful intricate plot, and a totally satisfying resolution where everything comes together. delightful!
Sandy
Feb 02, 2014 Sandy rated it liked it
Shelves: library, childrens
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
Cecelia
Mar 04, 2013 Cecelia rated it really liked it
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
Piyali
Nov 19, 2015 Piyali rated it liked it
An interesting book for middle grades. A well written commentary on exploring and discovering one's talents and gifts. I would love to hear thoughts on this book from its target audience. I enjoyed it. 3.5 stars.
Kenzie
Sep 06, 2014 Kenzie rated it really liked it
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
Mari
May 11, 2015 Mari rated it really liked it
I REALLY liked this one a lot. I will likely re-read it, and I wouldn't be surprised if I wind up giving it another star. . .

I wouldn't classify it as a mystery, but there are certainly lots of mysterious parts that come together at the end in a most satisfying way. The way Lisa Graff creates different storylines that are eventually woven tightly together reminded me a little of how I felt reading Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver.

Highly recommended, and a great read-alike for folks who love
...more
Rithika Bayipati
Feb 04, 2015 Rithika Bayipati rated it it was amazing
"A Tangle of Knots" is an amazing book, in my opinion. I was absolutely hooked on it from a paragraph in, and the writing style is just beautiful. The book has a way of keeping things very mysterious and interesting; with a bunch of characters whose lives are all tangled up; and throughout the story you untangle those knots.

Lisa Graff, the author, drops hints that you may not have noticed, and unravels the story in a way that just seems so natural, so that even when there's a plot twist, it doe
...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Feb 17, 2013 Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) rated it it was amazing
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.
Vava
Jan 25, 2016 Vava rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Such a cute book for readers young and old alike. It's told from various pov's, but the main protagonist is 11 year old Cady. It's set in a world where people has specific "talents," Cady's talent is baking the perfect cake for someone. However, where there's a protagonist there's also an antagonist who steals other people's talents. The varying pov's was confusing at first and I wish the ending wasn't vague, but I loved the characters and the author's whimsical writing style. The book also incl ...more
Jenna Friebel
Sep 21, 2013 Jenna Friebel rated it it was amazing
Read in one sitting. Wonderfully enchanting. And now I really want to bake a cake...
Heather
May 15, 2013 Heather rated it liked it
Recommends it for: tween readers
Cady was left at the steps of Miss Mallory’s Home for Lost Girls. As she grew up there, she developed a special talent for baking cakes that perfectly matched any person anywhere. Miss Mallory on the other hand, had a talent for picking the right family for each orphaned girl who stayed with her, except Cady; but Miss Mallory strongly believed that the perfect parents were out there just waiting to adopt her. Marigold Asher longed to develop a talent. Both her brothers had one; Zane’s talent was ...more
Rachael Stein
Feb 25, 2013 Rachael Stein rated it liked it

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
Mar 21, 2013 Kaleena Melotti rated it it was amazing
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
Jennifer Heise
Dec 02, 2013 Jennifer Heise rated it really liked it
There's definite flavors of Ray Bradbury, Polly Horvath, Iva Ibbotson, and Diana Wynne Jones to this tangled tale-- and I mean that in a good way.

In a world where nearly everyone has a Talent, a magical knack for something, large or, mostly, small-- a number of people, some of them children, some adults, are drawn together by unusual circumstances, and peculiar, not to say suprising, results occur. The story is in fact a tangle of knots, and there is something other than Talent holding it togeth
...more
mg
Jun 13, 2015 mg rated it really liked it
4.5 stars, really.

A Tangle of Knots is a tangle of lives, slowly revealed, then unwoven before the readers' eyes.

Cady, an orphan with a Talent for baking the perfect cake, has been patiently waiting for the ideal parent to adopt her. The Asher family (each with a unique Talent as well) is suddenly homeless after a hot air balloon knocks down a wall of their apartment. These seemingly unconnected people come to live in the same house (the Lost Luggage Emporium); as we explore their lives, we lea
...more
Becky
Feb 09, 2013 Becky rated it liked it
Shelves: readin2013
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
Nov 11, 2013 Louize rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Wrenna
Apr 24, 2016 Wrenna rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-books
Very interested in talents. I feel like the whole book is about that. For instance, the girl named Cady has a very good talent for baking cakes, and this boy named Will has a talent for getting "lost." I liked the end because everybody figured out who they belonged with. But I didn't like it because I wanted it to be more about the baking place, but it went a chapter about the owner.
Brooke
Jan 28, 2013 Brooke rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 01, 2013 Susan P rated it really liked it
Shelves: j-fiction
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
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“It's the way we deal with what Fate hands us that defines who we are.” 7 likes
“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.”
2 likes
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