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The Dyerville Tales

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  97 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
A young orphan searches for his family and the meaning in his grandfather's book of lost fairy tales

Vince Elgin is an orphan, having lost his mother and his father in a fire when he was young, but beyond that, his life hasn't been much of a fairy tale. With only a senile grandfather he barely knows to call family, Vince was remanded to a group home, where he spun fantastic
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Walden Pond Press
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Community Reviews

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Faye, la Patata
I really didn't expect anything too much from this novel. I initially requested this one because of the cover. It's absolutely stunning and vivid and dreamy; it reminds me of the many fantasy mangas that I've read in the past.

However, if you're going into this novel thinking it's something like that, you will be badly mistaken. This is a book that I would categorize as for children, but uses a voice that is quite mature for the target audience. Reading this you wouldn't have imagined it were for
Mar 25, 2014 Aeicha rated it it was amazing
M.P. Kozlowsky’s Juniper Berry is one of my most favorite middle-grade books, so I was super excited to dive into his The Dyerville Tales, and I’m happy to report that this fantasy tale does not disappoint!

Orphaned Vince Elgin lost his parents in a fire several years ago and receives word that is only living relative, his beloved grandfather, has died. Vince receives a book of tales belonging to his grandfather. Wild, thrilling tales full of magic, mythical creatures, and more. Tales that his gr
Sara Grochowski
Vince Elgin,often weaves magical tales for the other orphans who spend day after hopeless day in the dreary group home they reside in. When Vince receives notice that his estranged grandfather has passed away and a package containing his grandfather's dictated memoirs, he discovers that his grandfather has lived a fantastical life, full of adventure, danger, wicked witches, and giants. Vince is determined to make it to his grandfather's funeral, where he's certain he'll be reunited with his ...more
May 23, 2014 Nicole rated it it was amazing
The Dyerville Tales by M.P. Kozlowsky
Walden Pond Press, 2014
336 pages
Recommended for grades 4-8

Wow. I read this book slowly, and even then, I didn't spend enough time with young Vince. The summary of the book can be found here.
I love the parallel journey readers are taken on, as they follow young Vince setting out to find his father, and as they follow Vincent (Vince's grandfather) retell the story of his life through his book: The Dyerville Tales.
Readers will wonder where the truth beg
Mel (Daily Prophecy)
Confusing ending, some things were a little too unbelievable, but I think it's a great story for younger children. Review will come.
Oct 02, 2015 Heather rated it it was amazing
Some books just take your breath away when you read them. That's what M.P. Kozlowsky's THE DYERVILLE TALES did to me. Simple yet beautiful. Understated and powerful at the same time. There are two stories within the book, but they are so intertwined, so connected they become one. Sometimes as I was reading, I had to remind myself who I was reading about, which of the characters as they are both named Vince. It is a fairy tale about a boy who decides to take a journey that becomes life changing. ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Ashley rated it liked it
Recommended to Ashley by: Simon Clark
Review first posted here:

I really enjoyed this book - it reminded me a lot of the film Big Fish in that Vince learns more and more about his grandfather through seemingly fantastical tales, while also learning that there might be more truth in them than he realized.

My thoughts in a few words: Imaginative, suspenseful, frightful, a bit unsatisfying.

Kozlowsky manages to create a vibrant world within the tales that Vince reads. Each tale holds som
Bluerose's  Heart
Jul 16, 2014 Bluerose's Heart rated it really liked it
I'm just left with so many questions with this book!

Vince is an orphan, living in an orphanage. He tells the other children stories to add a little excitement to their lonely days. When Vince learns of his grandfather's death, he's also given a book filled with the exciting adventure of his grandfather's life. Vince decides that no matter what it takes, he must get to his grandfather's funeral, and put the missing pieces of his dad's disappearance together. Along the way, he reads his grandfathe
Brandy Painter
Apr 18, 2014 Brandy Painter rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

When I read Juniper Berry a couple of years ago, I was excited about what future stories M.P. Kozlowsky would give us. The Dyerville Tales is just as unique and engrossing as Juniper Berry was while being incredibly different.

I read ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

Vince uses stories to keep the hope inside of him alive. Hope for the future. His. I love this so much. It made me want to scoop him up
Dorine White
Jun 01, 2014 Dorine White rated it really liked it
The Story-
Vince has lived in an orphanage ever since a fire killed his mother, and his father was never found. The orphanage is a dull place, and Vince's stories brighten up all the children's lives. One day a package arrives for him, a book written by his Grandfather and delivered as per his death bed request. The book tells magic tales from the life of his Grandpa, and Vince is determined to attend his funeral, even though the orphanage caretaker says no.

Vince escapes and as he travels he rea
Jun 16, 2014 Shae/Shelver marked it as hope-to-retry-someday
Originally posted at

The Dyerville Tales is one of those books that I set aside with a hint of unease, unsure of whether the problem is with it or with me. On the one hand, it had some things going for it, like moments of greatness in the prose (I especially liked the bit about “dreams like dust”) and a FREAKING DRAGON ON A ROOF. Love me some dragons. Oh, and there’s fire. I do love fires. There were also hints of an adventure as Vince runs away from the o
Dena (Batch of Books)
One thing is certain—no one can accuse M.P. Kozlowsky of lacking an imagination. The Dyerville Tales is one of the most unique middle grade books I've read. It had familiar elements from old fairy tales like giants, a cannibalistic witch in a house with legs, and a gold fountain. It was presented in a new way, though. The author spun a wildly imaginative tale that immediately drew me in.

The story is about Vince, a young boy who runs away from an orphanage to attend his grandfather's funeral. Alo
Aug 06, 2014 Shirley rated it it was amazing
Good writing!
"He looked at the crazed woman, who now knelt down before him. She sat in the snow as if it were sand on the beach. She didn't react to the cold; she didn't look uncomfortable in the least. Her black hair was knotted and ragged and wild, like Medusa's serpents, and her equally dark eyes seemed to stare straight through him into some other realm. There was a slight screeching sound, and Vince soon realized it was her hyper and excited breathing." (pp. 143-144)

Did this get you thinkin
May 10, 2014 Kristen rated it really liked it
Vince has almost given up hope of ever finding his lost father, when he hears word of his grandfather’s death. The Dyerville Tales is the story of Vince, the boy and of his grandfather’s own stories, which he shared with an orderly at the home and who wrote them down. The stories are fantastical and Vince loves them, but wishes he knew the truth behind where his family really came from.

There’s a sort of hope to the stories and as a reader, I wished hard they would seep more into Vince’s world. I
Feb 27, 2015 Amy rated it it was ok
Reviewed for School Library Journal on 03/01/2014

Gr 4–7—Every night in the orphanage, 12-year-old Vince Elgin recites the traumatic tale of how his house burned to the ground and he lost his parents. His father's body was never recovered and the boy secretly wonders if he is still alive and waiting for him somewhere. When news reaches Vince that his estranged grandfather has passed away, he is hopeful that he can attend the funeral and perhaps be reunited with his dad. His hopes are dashed when
Sep 16, 2014 Rikki rated it really liked it
Fans of Charlie Bone and Inkheart will snap up The Dyerville Tales by M.P. Kozlowsky. Like most tragic, fantasy characters Vince Elgin is an orphan. His parents were killed in a fire and he loves to tell the tale of the night his parents were lost to the other boys and girls at the Obern House Orphanage. Vince’s version of the tale involves a dragon a magic ring, and a sword. Since losing his parents, Vince’s life has been very ordinary, but things start to get interesting when Vince receives a ...more
Apr 23, 2016 A rated it liked it
I can't decide if I like this book or not.
The overall storyline is both usual and unusual.
The boy reads the fantastical stories of his grandfather and finds them echoed in his own life.

The good:
The tale-telling pulled you in.
The characters were well developed and their motives and actions were decently justified to the reader.

The not so good:
*There were times when I struggled to differentiate between the two different strands of stories, but small clues were enough to help me make the transition
Aug 30, 2016 Heidi rated it it was ok
So sad. I really wanted to get into this one. I've heard such lovely things about Juniper Berry that I jumped all over the chance to read this one early. It's one of those odd cases where I can see the recipe, and all of the necessary ingredients for a book I'd love are there, but it just doesn't come out quite right. It felt too much as if Kozlowsky was checking off boxes as he went through this. I loved the unique and creative tale of the main character's grandfather that was created, but yet ...more
Linda Zuckerman
Jun 11, 2014 Linda Zuckerman rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 4th or 5th grade
Vincent was an orphan--or at least that is what everyone said. His parents died in a fire, but Vincent thinks his father might have escaped. His only living relative, his grandfather, dies in a nursing home in Dyersville. Upon his death, Vincent receives a gift from him. It is a book of fairy tales with his grandfather as the hero. Reading the book is comforting as he runs away from the orphanage to attend his grandfather's funeral. But the closer he gets to Dyersville, the more real the tales ...more
Amy T
Nov 06, 2015 Amy T rated it really liked it
I do this thing where I go to the kids section of the library and choose random books based on covers (yes, I'm a little shallow) and the book summary (but not too shallow).

I was pleasantly surprised! Vince and the other characters are very likeable, and even though she wasn't in the book much, MJ was my favorite in the real world. Orin the horse from the actual tales was one of the best horses I have ever read. The only complaint that I have is that the ending confused me. But that's probably a
Apr 05, 2016 Lynda rated it liked it
Vince is believed to be an orphan, but his father's body was never found. So when his grandfather dies, Vince runs away from the orphanage convinced his father will be at the funeral. In the meantime, he is given a book of his grandfather's that tells a fantastical story, that can't be true. But in Vince's search for his father, his adventures correlate with his grandfather's story in an unbelievable way. It was different. I liked it.
Jul 27, 2015 Orchid rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Captivating and beautifully written, The Dyerville Tales is one book that I would happily recommend to all readers no matter their age. Definitely one worth checking out.

To see my full thoughts, and to enter to win a signed copy, see my full review of The Dyerville Tales and interview with the M.P. Kozlowsky on my blog.
Apr 14, 2014 Maria rated it liked it
So many stories woven together here. A few times it felt like there were too many strands, but overall lots of intriguing parts.

I wasn't keen on the ending, though. I don't mind being unsure, but this one left me definitely puzzled and I think kids may not find that part satisfying.

Okay - I'm talking my way to more of a 3 than a 4.... But I'd like to see how kids react.
Jan 29, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it
I was very impressed by this book. It has layers and adventures, but I never felt confused or lost, just curious to read more. And many things were resolved, but enough loose ends dangle to continue the series. I think my kids will really enjoy it. PG for a few scary situations.

I won a copy from the Goodreads First Reads.
Feb 18, 2015 Laree rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves
This book was beautifully written, captivating, and amazing. The world building was amazing, the writting beautiful and I didn't want it to ever end. Yes, it's billed as middle grade fiction, but this is a perfect book for anyone with a reading level of about 4th grade and up (including all adults!)
Jun 21, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
This was a uncorrected proof, which somehow makes reading it all the better...because it was free! The author did a good job weaving fairy tales with reality, making you question what's real and what's not. Overall, an entertaining story about believing in yourself and having a little faith.
McArthur Library Staff Picks
Orphan "Vince" one day receives his grandfather's journal--a story so impossible that it can't possibly be true--in the mail. From his escape from the "home" all the way through an incredible journey to attend his grandfather's funeral -- just 2 words "Umbia Rab".
Sep 02, 2014 Allison rated it really liked it
I preferred the fantasy sections of this book to the realistic section of this book. It was a great, fun little read. I'm interested to see if anyone else thinks this carries any award weight.
HS rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2016
Kellie rated it liked it
May 24, 2014
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M.P. Kozlowsky was a high school English teacher before becoming a writer. He is the author of The Dyerville Tales and Juniper Berry, and lives in New York with his wife and two daughters.
More about M.P. Kozlowsky...

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